Temporary Roofing

Published Dec. 15, 2011
Updated: Dec. 16, 2021

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. Operation Blue Roof protects property, reduces temporary housing costs, and allows residents to remain in their homes while recovering from the storm; however, there may be a cost to local and state governments.

This program is for primary residences or a 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, made of clay, slate or asbestos tile do not qualify. Major storm debris must be removed for the roof to qualify, as contracted crews only have the ability to remove minor debris from damaged roofs.

The support that Corps can provide FEMA and State and local governments for their Temporary Roofing needs is far ranging.  The capabilities extend from Technical Expertise and Assistance through complete management of a Temporary Roofing mission including the scoping, procurement and installation of temporary roofing repairs.  Assets utilized to fulfill temporary roofing requirements include Corps contracted forces and Temporary Roofing Planning & Response Teams (PRTs) from across Corps.

Temporary Roofing Mission Capabilities

  • Technical Assistance: 

Primarily provided by the PRTs, to advise FEMA, State and local governments on the need for Temporary Roofing assistance and to assist in scoping the magnitude of the mission requirements and impacts on the affected communities.  Assess conditions & capabilities of local governments to perform the installation of temporary roofing in their communities.  Provide on the job training to the National Guard, volunteer groups and local governments or contractors that may be involved in the execution of a roofing mission. 

  • Real Estate Support: 

Proper Real Estate instruments, Rights of Entry (ROEs), must be in place prior to entering private property.  Acquiring these instruments is normally accomplished by Corps personnel.  However, if the mission is of such magnitude, Corps can task a contractor to assist in acquiring the necessary ROEs for the roofing mission. 

  • Other Support/Criteria: 

Pre-scripted mission assignments have been developed that outline the general scope of work with adequate funding to ensure that initial mission execution is completed in a timely manner.   As soon as possible the entire mission should be scoped to determine the magnitude and resources required.  The execution of a temporary roofing mission is based on the current FEMA criteria that at least 50 percent of the roof structure remains standing and is repairable after the storm event in order to qualify for a temporary roof.  The execution of a roofing mission will require logistical support at staging area(s) for equipment, supplies, and materials.

Temporary Roofing Advance Contracting Initiatives

To be prepared to execute the Temporary Roofing Mission, the Corps of Engineers maintains Advance Contracting Initiative Contracts (ACI) for Temporary Roofing for the continental United States, Hawaii and other overseas Territories.  The contractors provide supervision, labor, equipment and materials necessary to make temporary roof repairs, primarily installation of government-furnished plastic sheeting, in support of Corps/FEMA emergency response operations.

These contracts are construction contracts and can be used to purchase any necessary supplies and equipment to include plastic sheeting, if requested by FEMA to accomplish the mission.  Therefore, roofing material procurement, if required, can be acquired by a combination of the ACI contractor or the supporting Corps District contracting office, if requested by FEMA. 

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: