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Deadline Approaching To Get Free Blue Roof Tarps

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FEMA/Photo by 1LT Kenneth Bolton
Roofing contractors of S & M Associates apply and affix FEMA supplied blue tarp sheets onto a local Naples, Florida home in order to provide a temporary solution for residence housing shelter and prevent further damage.

Residents with damaged roofs because of Hurricane Irma have only a few days to get temporary aid to get their roofs fixed.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are providing residents with damaged roofs blue tarps - for free. It's called Operation Blue Roof.

Registration for Blue Roof is coming to an end in Pinellas County Tuesday, October 3 and Manatee County Saturday, October 7.

Registration is taking place in multiple locations throughout several counties. They can be found on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s website.

Homeowners must register through FEMA to receive Blue Roof aid.

When applying for the temporary roofs, residents should bring, if applicable: proof of insurance;  Social Security number; checking account number; and a list - including photos - of damage.

Locations:

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You must first meet several guidelines from the Corps of Engineers: The house must be a primary residence;  50 percent of the wood framing must be undamaged; and, if a renter, you must have obtained legal permission for the roofing.

Once registered, it may take two to three weeks for an inspector to get to a house, due to the large amount of  demand for aid, because of storms stretching from Texas to Puerto Rico.

“The issue we’re having right now is people are registering, we’ve had more than 2 million registrations for disaster assistance. It’s getting inspectors in the field,” said FEMA Public Information Officer Bill Lehman.

Lehman is the PIO for Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Polk, and Pinellas counties. He says that Polk County has been the source of the majority of their FEMA and Blue Roof registrations. 

Because of the large demand, Lehman advises “Rather than just wait, I think it’s sometimes better to hire a contractor. Get somebody to do the installation if they can’t do it themselves, and maybe even purchase the material in order to mitigate further damages.”

Blue Roofs are meant for temporary protection for up to 30 days.

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