Operation Blue Roof training prepares district employees for upcoming hurricane season

USACE OMAHA DISTRICT
Published May 3, 2024
Photo of Blue Roof training.

Operation Blue Roof team members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District listen to a briefing during training May 1, 2024, inside the district’s Emergency Operations Center at the headquarters building in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Operation Blue Roof is a program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that installs temporary blue plastic sheeting over roofs damaged by storms until permanent repairs can be made. (U.S. Army photo by Delanie Stafford)

Photo of Blue Roof training.

Oliver Berglund, an Omaha District emergency management specialist and Blue Roof team manager, discusses deployment kits during training May 1, 2024, inside the district’s Emergency Operations Center at the headquarters building in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Operation Blue Roof is a program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that installs temporary blue plastic sheeting over roofs damaged by storms until permanent repairs can be made. (U.S. Army photo by Delanie Stafford)

Photo of Blue Roof training.

Operation Blue Roof team members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District listen to a briefing during training May 1, 2024, inside the district’s Emergency Operations Center at the headquarters building in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Operation Blue Roof is a program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that installs temporary blue plastic sheeting over roofs damaged by storms until permanent repairs can be made. (U.S. Army photo by Delanie Stafford)

Photo of Blue Roof training.

Nicole Cominoli, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District program manager and Operation Blue Roof mission manager, provides comments during training May 1, 2024, inside the district’s Emergency Operations Center at the headquarters building in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Operation Blue Roof is a program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that installs temporary blue plastic sheeting over roofs damaged by storms until permanent repairs can be made. (U.S. Army photo by Delanie Stafford)

Photo of Blue Roof training.

Ivy Williams, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District civil engineer and Operation Blue Roof team member, listens to a briefing during training May 1, 2024, inside the district’s Emergency Operations Center at the headquarters building in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Operation Blue Roof is a program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that installs temporary blue plastic sheeting over roofs damaged by storms until permanent repairs can be made. (U.S. Army photo by Delanie Stafford)

Photo of Blue Roof training.

Joshua Marx, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division temporary roofing program manager, provides Operation Blue Roof program updates during training May 1, 2024, inside the district’s Emergency Operations Center at the headquarters building in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Operation Blue Roof is a program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that installs temporary blue plastic sheeting over roofs damaged by storms until permanent repairs can be made. (U.S. Army photo by Delanie Stafford)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District’s Readiness Branch held training May 1 inside the district’s Emergency Operations Center to prepare Operation Blue Roof volunteers for the upcoming hurricane season.

Operation Blue Roof is a program offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that installs temporary blue plastic sheeting onto roofs damaged by storms until permanent repairs can be made.

When mission assigned by FEMA, members of the Blue Roof team will deploy to an impacted area to assess homeowner eligibility, damages and required temporary repairs.

“Operation Blue Roof allows the homeowner to recover from the storm in their own house,” said Oliver Berglund, an Omaha District emergency management specialist and Blue Roof team manager. “This training helps ensure we have a team ready to deploy and operate at moment’s notice.”

The training included briefings on emergency management, the Blue Roof program and mission execution. It also included a hands-on exercise with a simulated mission.

The exercise primarily focused on mission management tasks and assessments of damaged roofs within the Blue Roof Management System. It also simulated various scenarios the team could face while deployed.

Nicole Cominoli, an Omaha District program manager and Operation Blue Roof mission manager who has deployed in support of Blue Roof missions, said, "It is a very humbling and rewarding experience to be part of the Blue Roof team and the mission that we execute. We are able to restore a sense of normalcy for people during a very chaotic and stressful time.”

Berglund said they currently have 58 volunteers but are always looking for more.

District volunteers come from many different career fields and function in a variety of roles to include both office and field work. Operation Blue Roof positions don’t have to relate to the volunteer’s traditional career. Many perform roof assessments and quality assurance tasks while other positions include action officer, mission manager, mission specialist, resident engineer, database technician, realty and contract specialist and material control technician.

The Omaha District’s Blue Roof team most recently deployed in support of Hurricanes Irma and Maria 2017 and Hurricane Laura in 2020.

District employees interested in joining the team should contact Oliver Berglund at 402-995-2443 to learn more about the program.


News from around USACE

U.S. Army’s premier engineer award presented posthumously to Medal of Honor recipient
5/17/2024 UPDATED
SAVANNAH. Ga. -- U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher A. Celiz was posthumously presented the Gold Order of the de Fleury Medal, the highest honor in the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment, during a ceremony...
The Kansas City District’s Regulatory Program: a balance between the environment, development and public interest
5/17/2024
Ever wonder what the Regulatory Branch does? We asked several program and project managers and David Hibbs, chief, regulatory program branch, to tell us about the work they do; they do a lot that you...
The Corps Environment – Spring 2024 edition now available
5/17/2024
The Spring 2024 edition of The Corps Environment is now available! This edition features diverse initiatives focused on protecting and preserving our environment...
Huntsville Center’s commander throws first pitch at Trash Panda Armed Forces Game
5/16/2024
Col. Sebastien Joly, Huntsville Center’s commander, and Joshua Gaines, Huntsville Center engineer, each threw out first pitches before the announced crowd of 6,668...