ST. CLOUD, Fla. - As Hurricane Maria moves out of Puerto Rico, many families in Central Florida are waiting to hear from their loved ones.
With the power wiped out to the entire island, it's proving to be a long, anxious waiting game. It's unclear how long it will take to get power back up and running.
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"We relay the message so they can know that their relatives are safe," pastor Ian Perry said.
Perry is a pastor at Mission Love Church in St. Cloud. His radio skills are now becoming a lifeline for families in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria pushed through. At a time when no one can get in contact with their families, he said he will find your relatives for you.
"I get your name, I get her name, where she lives, any contact information, then I contact someone in Puerto Rico. I'll say, 'Listen, can you relay a message to so and so, this is their address, this is their phone number,'" he said.
Perry is getting results by putting his love for radio to good use, as many are already asking, "Where's my mom? Where's my brother? This is where we step in and contact them, because there's still no power," he said. "A station in Puerto Rico will relay it."
So willing to help people in the area, he posted the information on Facebook, telling worried relatives he will help them contact the island via radio.
Perry said he's already gotten calls from Orlando, Palm Bay and as far as Georgia, getting in contact with several families.
He told News 6 that in other disasters, he's logged more than 400 calls in one day.
"All of a sudden you realize somebody knows I'm alive and OK, you know you did your job," Perry said.
Perry said he's working with other churches in the area to get them licensed and trained on radio. So for future disasters, they'll be prepared and ready to help.
Anyone who wants to help the church can call 407-285-0662.
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