FEMA resources available online
Sarasota County and City of Sarasota homeowners who suffered damage to their roofs as a result of Hurricane Ian’s strike may be eligible for Operation Blue Roof, a federal program that provides fiber-reinforced sheeting to cover roofs until arrangements can be made for permanent repairs, both local governments announced on Oct. 5.
Operation Blue Roof is a priority mission managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a county news release explains. “This is a free service to homeowners. Operation Blue Roof protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm,” the release adds.
“Residents are encouraged to sign up and check the status of their applications through the online portal available at BlueRoof.us,” the release says. The online process takes 5 minutes or less time to complete, the release notes.
Residents can call the toll-free number at 888-766-3258 to speak to a live operator and apply for the program, both the city and county releases say, “but you should expect the process to take up to 20 minutes,” the county release points out. Hours of operation for the phone line are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time.
To qualify for the Blue Roof program, a homeowner must comply with the following, the county release explains:
- The residence must be the primary home of the person or household requesting the emergency roof covering.
- “The residence has NO more than 50 percent of the roof framing damaged,” the release emphasizes. “The framing must support the plastic sheeting as a temporary repair,” and it must be able to provide safe shelter after contractors install the tarp.
- “The resident certifies that he or she is the owner of the home requested to be covered OR is a renter” who has obtained legal permission to continue occupying the residence until more permanent repairs have been made.
- The resident certifies that he or she will shelter in the residence for which the covering has been requested.
- The roof must have standard shingles or a similar material that will allow contractors to nail the tarp in place.
“Contractors will consider repairs to metal roofs and mobile homes on a case-by-case basis and will install the cover if possible,” the release points out. “Contractors cannot cover roofs made of materials such as slate, asbestos or clay tile, or other material which would be exceptionally difficult to repair, or would likely be damaged during tarp installation,” it adds.
For more information, visit BlueRoof.us.
Homeowners are advised to document any damage to their residences sustained as a result of Hurricane Ian, “including photos, estimates for repair and receipts for repair work or the purchase of supplies used to protect or repair their homes,” the county release explains.
“Documentation will be necessary to submit a federal assistance claim to FEMA. Residents can begin the application process at disasterassistance.gov or by downloading the FEMA app online.” Anyone without access to the internet may apply by phone: 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.
For the latest county updates, that release adds, visit alertsarasotacounty.com, follow Sarasota County Government on Facebook and Twitter @SRQCountyGov or text SRQCounty at 888777.