Local agencies stay prepared for disaster emergencies through training and simulation on Friday

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — On Friday, local agencies in Peoria prepared for the worst during disaster training at the Peoria International Airport.

Director of Airports Gene Olson said typically 26 agencies and hundreds of participants would be involved.

“This is normally something that happens for us in April, and we’ve had two 90 day extensions from the FAA because of the COVID crisis,” said Olson.

Due to the pandemic, the exercise was scaled back and some agencies trained virtually and participated in simulations.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires disaster exercises to be done every three years, but he says the agencies work annually to stay prepared.

“Every year, we do a tabletop exercise where we go through our emergency plan and all of the participating agencies make comments about like yes we can do that or no this changed,” said Olson.

The training exercises did not disrupt airport operations.

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