FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is putting blue plastic sheeting on homes damaged by Hurricane Irma.
Right now, the Operation Blue Roof Program, a temporary repair program, is only available in some Florida counties. That includes: Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota.
But FEMA spokesmen David Burns says they want to make it available to all Florida counties in the next day or so.
Here's how it works, if you have roof damage at a primary residence in Florida, you need to fill out an "ROE." That's a "Right of Entry" form to let government employees and contractors onto your property to assess damage. If the building is not structurally sound, or has more than 50 percent damage to the roof, it's not eligible for the program.
Burns says they're taking it on a "case-by-case" basis. "Whether we can do the repair or not really depends on the structural integrity and safety that they find at the site itself," Burns said.
And he says, if anyone comes to your house saying they are from FEMA and wants you to pay them to do repairs, call the police. Because these FEMA temporary repairs are done at no charge to the homeowner.
He also says all FEMA employees, those with the Army Corps of Engineers and those working with them will have government-issued identification with their name and the name of the agency for which they work. FEMA is a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Homeowners need to fill out the "ROE" and submit it in person to a FEMA-designated collection center.
Here are the locations of some of those sites:
2800 North Horseshoe Dr.
Naples, FL 34104
The Growth Center
310 Alachua St.
Immokalee, FL 34142
Lowe’s Home Improvement
8040 Dani Dr.
Fort Myers, FL 33966
12629 Ulmerton Rd.,
Largo, FL 33774
Bee Ridge Park
4430 South Lockwood Ridge Road
Sarasota, FL 34231
Collection centers are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional locations may be added as necessary.
Current information is available on the Jacksonville District web site at www.saj.usace.army.mil/BlueRoof and at 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258). Information is provided in both English and Spanish through this single number.