Haitian radio personality talks to local emergency response leaders

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) -  He was the only voice speaking to the world after January's devastating earth quake in Haiti.

Tuesday, Carel Pedre, a well-known radio personality for Radio One in Porte Au Prince, was in Memphis to speak with local emergency response leaders about how to communicate during a crisis.

"Radio is the best form of communication for disaster, and I want to share my experience, and I'm sure they'll put my experience into their preparedness program," he said.

Pedre's radio network managed to stay on the air during the massive quake to help hundreds of Haitians find medical attention, safety, and even their loved ones.

"I was the only source of information because all the phone communication was down," he said.

Pedre said the radio station only had enough fuel to run an electric generator for about a week, so they only stayed on the air a few hours each day.

"Families from all over the world needed to know what's happening and they can't find anybody," he said. "The internet was the only way of communication, and I used the internet to talk about everything

Pedre said he used his air time to transform his station from an entertainment venue into one of the last lifelines for desperate survivors who still had battery powered radios.

In the end, Pedre does not consider himself to be a celebrity or hero.  Rather, he said, he was just a man sitting behind a computer telling the world a story.

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