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Amateur radio operators could be a lifeline in a major disaster

KATU

PORTLAND, Ore. — If a major disaster ever hits the Pacific Northwest, a group of unlikely heroes may be ready to step in and help.

They're amateur radio operators, and if the power grid goes down, they may be the only line of communication with the rest of the world.

PORTLAND, Ore. — If a major disaster ever hits the Pacific Northwest, a group of unlikely heroes may be ready to step in and help.

They're amateur radio operators, and if the power grid goes down, they may be the only line of communication with the rest of the world.

Saturday, the group did a simulated test all over the state of Oregon — sending messages back and forth to each other.

Ham operators, as they call themselves, do this for the love of it. They've created an all volunteer network of about 650 people spread across the state.

The communication is no longer limited to talking in Morse code either.

They're now able to send email messages through their radios.

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