The Jacksonville, Fla. district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been tasked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist homeowners impacted by Hurricane Irma with temporary roof repairs. The program sends licensed contractors out to homes to cover roof damage with fiber-reinforced polymer tarp until homeowners can arrange repairs. According to FEMA, the blue sheeting is installed using strips of wood that are secured to the roof with nails or screws. FEMA describes the FRP as “a reinforced, waterproof material that is designed to last 30 days.”

The program allows residents to stay in their homes, instead of paying for temporary housing or hotels. The program also protects property while homeowners recover from the storm. This is a free service to homeowners with homes that are primary residences or permanently occupied rental properties that have less than 50 percent structural damage.

As of September 18, the program is available homeowners in Florida’s Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties. Other counties may be added at a later date. Homeowners must sign a Right of Entry (ROE) form to allow government employees and contractors onto their property to assess damage and install the temporary covering.

The program officially got underway in Southwest Florida on September 16, when the Corps of installed a temporary roof at a Collier County residence.

“The first temporary roof installation is a significant milestone for people impacted by Hurricane Irma,” said Col. Jason Kirk, the Corps district commander. “The blue covers are a tangible sign to the community that ensuring their safety, security, and peace of mind is our top priority.”