The scope of the temporary roofing mission can be very broad and complex. The mission can range from providing technical assistance to FEMA, and state and local governments, to managing and contracting for the installation of blue plastic sheeting onto roofs of damaged homes or public structures (Operation Blue Roof). FEMA usually tasks the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when all other resources have been exhausted.
Operation Blue Roof
Operation Blue Roof is managed by the Corps for FEMA. The purpose of Operation Blue Roof is to provide homeowners in disaster areas with fiber-reinforced plastic sheeting to cover their damaged roofs until arrangements can be made for permanent repairs. Operation Blue Roof protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm. This is a free service to homeowners; however, there may be a cost to local and state governments.
Operation Blue Roof is for primary residences or permanently occupied rental properties with less than 50 percent structural damage. Vacation rental properties are not eligible for the program. Once the blue roof is installed, the structure must be habitable. Not all roof types qualify for the program. Roofs that are flat or made of clay, slate or asbestos tile do not qualify. All storm debris must be removed for the roof to qualify.
Key Points on the Temporary Roofing Mission
- The 2005 hurricane season became the largest Operation Blue Roof program ever with 193,000 roofs installed as a result of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. The previous record was set in 2004 when 134,000 blue roofs were installed after Florida hurricanes Charlie, Frances, Jeanne and Ivan. After Katrina and Rita, the State of Louisiana became the largest single recipient of the season with 82,000 blue roofs. In 2008, 36,235 temporary roofs were installed in Louisiana and Texas as a result of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, over 76,500 temporary roofs were installed in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. After Hurricane Michael impacted Florida in 2018, 7,800 temporary roofs were installed.
- There are four Temporary Roofing Planning and Response Teams located in district offices in Nashville, St. Louis, Omaha, and Little Rock.
- A video explaining Operation Blue Roof can be found online at: