American Red Cross

By PHIL ATTINGER Staff Writer for Highlands News-Sun – If you still haven’t gotten your roof repaired since Hurricane Irma, and you have a tarp over your roof, there is help available.

Habitat for Humanity, in partnership with the American Red Cross, has been working to repair roofs and other storm damage left behind by Irma. They haven’t gotten to it all yet.

The office in Sebring is still taking applications from people who need that help, but they won’t be able to provide last-minute repairs or patches in the face of an impending storm.

“It’s not a quick fix,” said Blair Pakowski, director of programs for Habitat for Humanity of Highlands County.

However, the local Habitat office has funding available “until it runs out,” Pakowski said.

Grants have come from Habitat for Humanity International and State Farm Insurance to replace roofs, even upgrade them to prevent future damage from hurricanes.

For those still dealing with blue tarps on their roofs or waiting in line for repairs, Highlands County Emergency Management officials advise them to secure their homes as best as possible prior to the next hurricane threat.

When the next storm is approaching, residents with compromised roofs are advised to seek alternate shelter, either with friends and family or at a county-run shelter.

For more details about Habitat for Humanity, upcoming home building and disaster recovery programs through Habitat, contact the affiliate office at 863-385-7156.