A good strategy is to shore up all of the locations that you need to play the game. These are the places for the items and fools landing. If fools landing sinks, you lose. You also should shore up any cards that help you get to the important places. If both of the places for each item sink and you haven't collected the item, you lose. After these places are shored up then shore up any others you can. This is especially important early in the game. Each spot sunk is one less card in the deck. So the ones you need will come up more often. By shoring up the spots early in the game you will have more cards available later in the game when you need to focus on other things like collecting treasure.
Feel free to use the sandbags and helicopters frequently. There are only a limited number but they are reshuffled into the deck every time you run out of cards. The more you use them the more frequently they come up again.
The next tip is useful for getting the cards to the right person. Clump together in the beginning so you can shuffle cards to get the ones to the people needed. Then use the helicopter to take you to the tile for collecting the treasure unless it is nearby.
Don't forget to shore up frequently.