SARASOTA, Fla. — Homeowners and residents in Sarasota County who were left with damages to their roofs after Hurricane Ian blew through Florida may now be eligible for repairs.
As a priority mission managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Operation Blue Roof is a free federal program that provides sheeting to cover roofs for the time being.
The program "protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm," officials explain in a news release.
People in need can sign up and check the status of their applications through an online portal by clicking here. They can also call the toll-free number at 888-766-3258 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to speak to a live operator and apply.
There are qualifications people applying to the program have to match, including:
- The home must be the primary residence of the person or household requesting the emergency roof covering
- The residence has NO more than 50 percent of the roof framing damaged. The framing must support the plastic sheeting as a temporary repair, and be able to provide safe shelter once contractors install the tarp
- The resident certifies that he or she is the owner of the residence requested to be covered OR is a renter that has obtained legal permission to continue occupying the residence until more permanent repairs are made
- The resident certifies that they will shelter in the residence that they have requested to be covered
- The roof must be standard roof 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. 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.
Anyone interested can find more information on the program here.
Residents are advised to document any damage to their homes left in the wake of Hurricane Ian, including "photos, estimates in repair and receipts for repair work or the purchase of supplies used to protect or repair their homes."
This type of documentation is needed for people to be able to submit a federal assistance claim to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Anyone in need can begin the application process by clicking here or downloading the FEMA app online. For those without access to internet, you can still apply by calling 1-800-621-3362.