FEMA's Operation Blue Roof gives Irma victims temporary relief

- There are now temporary roof repair options available to Pinellas County residents.

Operation Blue Roof, a free federal service, launched Friday in Pinellas County. The purpose of the operation is to provide homeowners in disaster areas with a fiber-reinforced blue tarp to cover their damaged roofs until repairs can be made.  The program provides a temporary covering of a to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be done, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency news release.

It's a program managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of FEMA. Residents can head to their office located at 12629 Ulmerton Road in Largo starting on Friday, September 15, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice. As long as there is a steady flow of residents signing up, the program will remain available in the area. The office is located next to the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks.

The best advice officials say is to come to the office to determine whether you qualify. You will know during your visit. The homeowner has to be the one to apply and they advise you to bring identification.

The program is for primary residences, or permanently occupied rental properties with less than 50% structural damage. Vacation rental properties are not eligible for the program. Not all roof types qualify for the program.

Operation Blue Roof protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm.

Right now, the operation is only in Pinellas County but is expanding to Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota.

For more details, head to FEMA's website.

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