Imagine spending two weeks not knowing if your parents are alive and alright.
That was the case for Jose and Erin Medina, a Sacramento couple, who found themselves in that situation after Hurricane Maria hit Mr. Medina's home of Puerto Rico on Sept. 20.
Medina's parents and other family members live in the city of Guayama, about 45 miles south of the capital city, San Juan. While many of the images of relief effort are coming out San Juan, the family said Guayama remains without power and that they haven't seen relief from FEMA or the Red Cross.
Only recently were Medina's parents able to communicate through spotty cell service that they're alive and well. That was a few days ago.
On Friday, 16 days after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, Medina had his first substantial phone call with his family, where cell service didn't drop out.
He talked with his dad for about half an hour. Here's what the couple learned about current conditions in their family's corner of the American territory.
"They were, you know, short on food, and they didn't have any power...And he said that they took their first shower and bath in two weeks and they felt amazing, so that was making them feel better," Erin Medina said. "In the community, they're working together, but every couple of days some food and supplies would trickle down and they could purchase them, but they don't have any access to their funds electronically, because, of course, electronically would need power."
"The one thing that was amazing to hear is that the Postal Service works," Jose Medina said. "I said, 'Okay, so since that works, let's try to send you money, let's try to send you batteries,' so that's going to be our next step."
On Saturday, the couple went to the post office and did just that.
Medina said his family's homes are still standing and they plan on staying to help rebuild, but government officials are saying it could be months before the power comes back on.
In the meantime, Jose and Erin Medina, along with Jose's sister Ana Medina, who lives with the couple in Sacramento, will continue trying to get updates from their family in Puerto Rico and help in whatever way they can. They've created a GoFundMe page to help their family, that's HERE.
Google's parent company Alphabet plans on launching above Puerto Rico large balloons carrying devices to boost cellular service, to help improve communication. See those balloons HERE.
Elon Musk, of Tesla, said he believes solar power could be they key to restoring Puerto Rico's power, sooner.
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