Since Hurricane Irma struck Florida in early September, 31 counties have been declared disaster areas, and Louisville District Corps of Engineers employees have deployed to support the Jacksonville District as they manage the blue roof program for FEMA.
Operation Blue Roof is a program for homeowners in disaster areas who have damage to their roofs. The program sends licensed contractors to cover the damage with fiber-reinforced plastic sheeting (tarp) until homeowners can arrange repairs.
With their roofs temporarily covered, residents are able to stay in their homes, rather than paying for temporary housing or hotels, and their property is protected while they recover from the storm.
“Before being deployed, I did not know about this program,” said Cathy Castle, a roofing quality assurance inspector from the Louisville District. “I have met families that have been in shelters, and with our blue roofs they will be able to stop the leaks and move back in their homes. It makes me feel proud to be part of an organization that helps people in need.”
Castle serves at a Right of Entry collection point in Tampa, ensuring that homeowners meet established criteria and that Corps staff and contractors can access their homes to install the blue roofs. She also assesses and measures for the blue roofs and does spot checks following installation.
Operation Blue Roof is a free service to owners of homes that are primary residences or permanently occupied rental properties and that have less than 50 percent structural damage. Vacation rental properties are not eligible for the program. For more information, visit http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/BlueRoof/.