With tropical storms and hurricanes getting worse due to climate change, hurricane protection systems like TrapBag® are more important than ever for communities and neighborhoods.
Hurricane Protection Systems
Why Hurricane Protection Systems Are Essential
Each year, hurricanes and tropical storms can cause billions of dollars of damage all over the coastal United States. Much of the damage comes from extreme high winds, which can displace debris and tear the roofs off of buildings.
Another dangerous aspect of hurricanes is the storm surge. A storm surge is a flood of seawater that pushes inland, past the typical high tide point. These waves are strong and corrosive, and they can cause serious damage to buildings and be life-threatening.
Storm surge is just as dangerous and can cause severe flooding, especially in low-lying areas. Depending on the wind and barometric conditions of the hurricane, storm surges can cover multiple blocks in seawater, as was the case during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Since these elements of the storm can be fatal and destroy homes and infrastructure, it’s critical to have hurricane protection systems in place.
Common Hurricane Protection Barrier Options
Sandbags have protected buildings and areas from hurricane damage for years before and during the storm. However, sandbags can be less effective against severe storm surges. They also compromise relatively easily and are time-consuming to fill.
Water Diversion Tubes
Water diversion tubes are a relatively inexpensive solution for protecting sewer and stormwater systems from being overwhelmed with heavy rain during a hurricane. Acting as an inflatable dam, these tubes keep water away from city streets.
However, since most water diversion tubes are designed to lie flat, they are not ideal for protection from storm surges during major hurricanes.
Floodgates are a permanent solution used in low-lying areas all over the world to protect cities from regular flooding. While they can protect individual streets or parts of a city, they often cannot protect a city altogether due to their limited size and high cost.
Most local governments don’t use floodgate systems by themselves during hurricanes and tropical storms. Instead, they use them in tandem with levees, dams, and other barriers that protect residential areas from coastal flooding along inlets and rivers.
TrapBag® Hurricane Barriers
TrapBag is a fast, economical hurricane flood protection system that takes less time, effort, and material to set up a watertight barrier than traditional sandbags. It can be deployed in a matter of minutes and uses 40 percent less materials than a stacked sandbag wall. A single, 100-foot section of 4-foot high TrapBags replaces roughly 8,000 sandbags while still maintaining structural integrity better than its counterparts.
TrapBag was designed with storm mitigation in mind, making it an affordable, ideal hurricane protection solution.
Who Uses TrapBag for Hurricane Protection?
Organizations and individuals all over the world have been using TrapBag for years to protect lives, homes, and businesses. These are just of the people and groups TrapBag serves.
Municipalities and Cities
City street and emergency service departments use TrapBag to stop and redirect the flow of storm surges when hurricanes make landfall. TrapBag can be used to strengthen existing levees and dams, or act as free-standing barriers to protect low-lying subdivisions and streets from flooding.
Neighborhood and homeowners associations in coastal areas can use TrapBag barriers to protect homes from storm surges and flood damage. This is especially true for neighborhoods located near coastal inlets that leave homes vulnerable to flooding during hurricanes and tropical storms.
Business and commercial property owners can set up TrapBag barriers ahead of the storm to protect the lower levels of their buildings.
This both protects the business from having to pay for damage or get the insurance companies involved, and allows them to reopen again sooner after the storm. In turn, they can provide essentials for the recovering community faster as well.
Homeowners with coastal or waterfront property can use TrapBag to provide an extra layer of protection for their homes. In addition to protecting the house itself with hurricane glass and other measures, this allows them to prevent serious damage from a Category 5 storm.
How to Protect a City from a Hurricane with TrapBag
TrapBag is a low-cost, rapid deploy barrier bag that is similar in concept, but ultimately superior to, conventional sandbags. A TrapBag barrier can protect life and property from natural disasters such as flash floods, storm surges, and even mudslides.
These pentagonal bags are sloped on one side and vertical on the opposite side, with an open top for filling. They are also interconnected, sharing common walls with neighboring cells for additional strength. However, TrapBag cells are self-contained—so if one cell does give way during a storm, it won’t affect the rest of the barrier.
Setting Up TrapBag Barriers Before a Hurricane
One municipality or neighborhood association worker can assemble a TrapBag by themselves in just a few easy steps during storm preparation. This protects homes and businesses from storm surge and coastal flooding with a watertight barrier that has been tried and tested by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
1. Open the Packaging
The entire TrapBag barrier comes folded up in its packaging like an accordion. Stretch the barrier out to its desired length in the shape you need, up to 50 feet. In most cases, this step takes just seconds.
2. Fill the Cells
You can fill each TrapBag cell one at a time with shovels and buckets, or all at once with a dump truck or bulldozer. Since TrapBag barriers can stand upright before filling, this makes them easier to fill and assemble than traditional sandbags.
Concrete, sand, and washed gravel are excellent filler materials for TrapBag.
3. Place or Stack the Barrier Where Needed
Filled TrapBags can act as freestanding barriers, set against existing retaining walls or slopes for reinforcement, or stacked on top of each other to protect the lower levels of homes or other buildings.
Removing TrapBags During Hurricane Cleanup
Once the storm surge has subsided, TrapBags are easy to remove. Simply cut open each cell on the vertical side, from the bottom up, so the filler material can escape. Then, remove the plastic with a thumb and bucket on a mini excavator.
Can TrapBags Be Reused?
No, TrapBags cannot be reused once you tear them down. If you ever find yourself needing to install TrapBag again, be sure to use a new barrier.