Veterans create sandbag machine for natural disasters

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A group of veterans created a sandbag machine to help with quick storm preparations.

When natural disasters hit, sandbags are what many people use to help protect their homes and their families, but sometimes just using a shovel and a team of people isn't enough. That's why the veterans from Las Vegas created a machine to speed up the process.

"You can fill 1,200 bags per hour with four guys and even with wet sand," explained Chris, "The Sandbag Store" employee. 

The bagging machine was designed to help people bag sand quickly and easily in emergency situations. To use the machine, you place a bag under the spout. Wet or dry sand can be placed inside and the bag automatically stands up. 

In a matter of seconds, a sandbag is made. 

"While it's filling, then you can reach and grab another bag," explained Steve Burcham, an engineer and co-owner of "The Sandbag Store, "and when it's done, it'll drop the bag, and you put another one on."

Jason Green served as a marine, and personally had to deal with sandbagging overseas. He said the machine would have made that job much easier. 

"We try to make it that anyone with a small tutorial can go, ‘Okay, wait, we can fill as many sandbags as we have materials to do it with," he explained. 

Their machine was sent all over the Florida Panhandle and southeast coast to help with the hurricanes over the past few years. One Baton Rouge communications facility was saved all because of the machine, they said.

"They saved it," Burcham said. "They saved the building. They kept it from flooding, and their communications weren't down."

With the amount of hurricanes and natural disasters several states have experienced, these machines are in high demand, and there is a back order.

The sandbag company is looking to hire more veterans to help save more families. 

"Our team is really unique in that they get to help people and help save property," Chris said, "and lives – even after they've gotten out of the uniform."