The sandless sandbags are so easy to store on the appliance yet can be used in so many ways at emergencies from soaking up leaking fuel from crashed vehicles to diverting floodwater away from homes and businesses and even as barriers against torrential floods.
They have stopped tons of debris threatening to wreck homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in the USA in 2012 and in Scotland fire crews in the flood-risk town of Comrie see them as crucial with the River Ruchill often bursting its banks. They now have 2,000 FloodSax stored next to their station.
FloodSax have been endorsed by the National Disabled Fire Association as they are so easy to handle and deploy.
FloodSax are transformed from being as light as a pillowcase (700 grams) to become as tough and heavy as sandbags (20kg) within five minutes. They are vacuum-packed so take hardly any space to store and 20 fit into a cardboard box that one person can easily carry. Compare that to 20 sandbags that would need a pallet.
Bizarrely, just one FloodSax saved the day when an emergency centre faced being badly damaged by floodwater.
The FloodSax was a sample that had been given to the Georgetown County Emergency Management team in South Carolina – and when torrential rain started to leak under a doorway the sample was put there and immediately stemmed the flow.
Emergency Management director Sam Hodge said: “Within several minutes the FloodSax expanded to seal off the bottom of the door, literally keeping out gallons of water and saving water damage.”
Emergency management expert Tim Shipman, who runs disaster recovery services for a company in the USA that has nine major distribution centres and around 1,700 retail locations, now only uses FloodSax instead of sandbags.
He said: “FloodSax are very easy to use and are less labour intensive than trying to use the normal type of sandbag and much more effective and efficient when used properly.”
And in the UK Mary Dhonau, chairwoman of the Flood Protection Association, says sandbags are hopelessly outdated.
“I hate them with a vengeance,” she said. “They do nothing but filter water.”
Floodsax have become vital for firefighters around the world.
For more information, go to www.floodsax.com