Roofing Assistance Under Way in Panhandle

July 15, 2005

Representatives from Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), AmeriCorps, and voluntary agencies are working together to expedite temporary roofing solutions for residents and businesses in the wake of Hurricane Dennis.

A joint needs assessment had determined that voluntary agencies already working in affected areas will provide the most cost effective and expedient assistance with installing sheeting on roofs damaged by Hurricane Dennis.

Residents may access roofing assistance in several ways and are encouraged to call the roofing assistance intake line in their county.

In Escambia County call: First Call for Help at (850) 595-5905.
In Santa Rosa County call: Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) at (850) 983-5224.

They may also visit the local Disaster Recovery Center and complete a right of entry form so that their roof can be assessed for appropriate action.

“The State of Florida and FEMA have initiated a self-help tarp program, distributing tarps to residents at several distribution points in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties,” said State Coordinating Officer Craig Fugate.

FEMA already has more than 3,500 tarps at the distribution points for residents who have a roofing need. FEMA has also released roofing supplies of plastic sheeting to the Christian Contractors Association for use by AmeriCorps and tarps to voluntary agencies and will continue to do so as needs assessments become finalized.

On Tuesday, July 12, AmeriCorps received a 30-day mission assignment to assist and support voluntary agencies with roofing. They will also help those with special needs, people with disabilities and the elderly with other hurricane recovery issues.

“The plastic covering and the tarps are temporary fixes designed to provide protection from the elements until the homeowner can make permanent repairs with a qualified professional,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Justin DeMello.

The first of two groups of AmeriCorps members will begin working in the Panhandle starting Monday, July 18. The needs assessment is expected to be finalized and work assignments coordinated by the end of the week. The Christian Contractors Association will provide nine team leaders and oversight to AmeriCorps teams.

Voluntary agencies have also sent teams of volunteers into affected neighborhoods, continuing their involvement in tarping roofs in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

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