PEORIA - A tornado rips through parts of central Illinois and the river is rising, quickly.
This is an emergency situation volunteers at the Red Cross are getting ready for, because it could very well be reality.
Homes leveled, lives ripped apart.
That's what happened in central Illinois in 2010.
"We had a tornado go through Dwight and Streator a few years back and that's what, it was considered a national, but that's what got me hooked," explains Maribeth Mies.
Hooked on helping people in a time of crisis.
Mies is a Red Cross volunteer from Bloomington.
She was in Peoria, Friday, working with volunteers from across the central Illinois region.
"Anytime you have a disaster, the first 24 to 48 hours, sometimes the first 72, are very chaotic. And if you've not had some building blocks, had some relationships established, you won't be able to get out of that chaos," says Red Cross Disaster Officer Marlys DeVries.
The disaster drill is organized chaos.
These people are working together to determine what resources they have, how to move them, if a tornado were to hit.
"Even if it challenges them, it will challenge them enough to know where their strengths are, where our weaknesses are," DeVries explains.
"It's really reassuring to know that you're actually assisting someone and that they have someone to go to and talk to and respond to, to help them get back on their feet as fast as possible," explains Mies.
Maribeth says she's here to learn how to make decisions quickly, dealing with everything from mass care to fundraising to snacks.
Learning of this planning and prep is vital for a volunteer, but there are also some things that just come from within.
"We give the hugs, we give the smiles," says Mies. "We let them know that someone out there is caring, someone out there is giving them the strength they need to move on."
Volunteers came from Peoria, Bloomington, Decatur, Quincy, and Springfield, today.
The Red Cross serves locally and nationwide.