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Radio operators demonstrate how to communicate when disaster strikes

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BARTONVILLE (WEEK) -- Amateur radio operators in central Illinois held a practice session Saturday to demonstrate how to keep up communication when disaster strikes.

Peoria County's Amateur Radio Emergency Service - or "ARES" - held the session in Alpha Park. There, they communicated with other radio operators all around the country.

Organizers say if cell phones, landlines, and the internet go down during a storm or something worse, radio is the next best option - and a great way to communicate with the American Red Cross and other rescue agencies.

"This gives us an opportunity to get out and get some real-world practice out in the field with our equipment and our people - practicing various techniques that are used," emergency communicator Rich Holtman said.

Holtman added radio was especially important during the November 2013 tornado that hit Tazewell County, as it allowed for much quicker communication with the Red Cross when phone systems were out of commission.

Harry Croton

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