WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - What does Puerto Rico need the most? Congress.
“The best donation that a person can on the mainland is call their Congressman and tell them they need act appropriately on the devastation that is in Puerto Rico,” said the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration’s Executive Director on Monday.
PRFAA is the acronym for the office. It works like the right hand for the island’s governor when he is in town. Those in the D.C. office have been in meetings and fielding calls non-stop since Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico as a Category 4 Hurricane early last Wednesday.
"I haven't spoken to my parents, so, just so you have to put that into perspective,” said Executive Director, Carlos Mercader.
WUSA9 Reporter Stephanie Ramirez says it took cousins three days to learn their parents were safe.
"I have a message to you from Wilma and she wants you to know that she and the family are okay,” was a message left for the family. It came from a random Ham Radio Operator on the West Side of Puerto Rico. There's also channels specifically dedicated to Hurricane help.
"Ham Radio is like your cell phone. But your cell phone can only use one of two frequencies. Literally, ham radio can use millions of frequencies,” said Christine Axsmith.
Axsmith told WUSA9 she is the former president of a DC Amateur Ham Radio Club called, HacDC.
With around 90% (91.2% according to the FCC) of cell sites out in Puerto Rico and around 60% (60.4% according to the FCC) out in the U.S. Virgin Island, it's these volunteers who have become a lifeline to the Red Cross, FEMA and families across the country in Hurricane Maria's aftermath, which is something still being assessed.
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