Sandbags

If you live in a known flood risk area, you should adopt a 'self-help' approach and prepare in advance and respond to forecasts or flood warnings.

Sandbags can provide limited protection for a short period of time but need to be installed correctly and used with plastic sheeting.

For general sandbag advice and how to construct a sandbag wall read the Environment Agency’s sandbag flood protection guide.

How to purchase sandbags

You can buy sandbags and sand to protect your property from flooding at local builders merchants or larger DIY stores.

Or purchase purpose-designed flood protection products which can be more effective than sandbags.

Help from your local council

Your local borough or district council may be able to supply sandbags to residents in vulnerable conditions. However sandbags are limited and councils cannot guarantee that they will be delivered in time or in sufficient quantity to prevent or reduce damage to property.

Sandbags from local councils are not provided to protect garages, garden sheds, outbuildings or gardens. Find out when your local council will help residents and how you can contact them in an emergency below:

Ashford Borough Council can provide sandbags for free to vulnerable residents following an assessment.

If you need sandbags during an emergency, call 01233 331111.

For further information please visit the Ashford Borough Council website or read the Ashford Borough Council Flood Risk Report (PDF, 10.0 MB).

Contact your local parish council to ask if they have sandbags in stock for residents. Alternatively, call Serco 08000 31 90 91 to buy sandbags.

For further information visit the Canterbury City Council website.

Dover District Council will follow advice from the Environment Agency during adverse weather, and will monitor the threat to residential, utility and commercial properties.

If an area is identified at risk, the council may set up local sandbag collection centres.

Requests for sandbags will be prioritised as follows:

  1. vulnerable individuals, the elderly and infirm
  2. hospitals, care homes, schools etc
  3. community flood schemes
  4. council buildings and critical infrastructure
  5. residential properties
  6. business or other non-residential properties.

For further information please visit the Dover District Council website or read the Dover District Council Flood Risk Report (PDF, 7.8 MB).

Folkestone and Hythe District Council can provide sandbags for free to vulnerable residents following an assessment.

If you need sandbags during an emergency, call 01303 853000 during office hours, or 01303 221888 out of normal office hours.

Collection points

You can collect empty sandbags for free from:

For further information please visit the Folkestone and Hythe District Council website or read the Folkestone and Hythe District Council Flood Risk Report (PDF, 7.7 MB).

Maidstone Borough Council can provide sandbags for free to vulnerable residents following an assessment.

For further information and local builders merchant's details please visit the Maidstone Borough Council website or read the Maidstone Borough Council Flood Risk Report (PDF, 11.9 MB).

If the Sevenoaks District Council Emergency Planning Officer has declared a flooding emergency, they will supply and deliver a limited number of sandbags, free of charge, to homes in the affected area.

As well as visiting your local builders merchants, you may be able to buy sandbags from the Sevenoaks Household Waste Recycling Centre, call 01959 567350 before setting off to check that supplies are available.

For further information please read the Sevenoaks District Council Flood Risk Report (PDF, 10.2 MB).

Swale Borough Council can provide sandbags for free to vulnerable residents following an assessment.

If you need details on how to get sandbags, contact Swale Borough Council on 01795 417850.

For further information please visit the Swale Borough Council website or read the Swale Borough Council Flood Risk Report (PDF, 8.9 MB) and find your local builders merchant's details.

Thanet District Council can provide sandbags for free to vulnerable residents following an assessment.

If you need sandbags during an emergency, call 01843 577000 and a council officer will visit and arrange the delivery of filled sandbags if appropriate.

For further information please visit the Thanet District Council website or read the Thanet District Council Flood Risk Report (PDF, 8.1 MB) and find your local builders merchant's details.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council can provide sandbags for free to vulnerable residents following an assessment.

Any vulnerable adults requiring support will need to be registered in advance. Please email the vulnerable adult's name and address to transport.services@tmbc.gov.uk. Requests for support will be considered and prioritised on a case-by-case basis. For out-of-hours events, the decision will be made by the duty officer.

For further information please visit the Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council website or read the Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council Flood Risk Report (PDF, 10.8 MB).

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council can provide sandbags for free to vulnerable residents following an assessment.

If your home is in immediate danger of flooding, please call Tunbridge Wells Borough Council on 01892 554640.

For further information please visit the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council website or read the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Flood Risk Report (PDF, 10.0 MB).