Incidents over the past year have once again demonstrated that developing a robust and reliable system for communicating during a disaster continues to be a challenging task. Landlines tend to be one of the first victims of natural and man-made disasters, with cell phone networks generally close behind. During times of disaster, many organizations are turning to amateur radio (ham radio) to maintain communications and ensure continuity of operations.

Become a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator

The 2015 Preparedness Summit will be offering the Federal Communication Commission’s amateur radio examination. This examination is required to become a ham radio operator. The examination costs $15 dollars and takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. The test consists of 35 questions, and you must get 26 questions correct to pass the examination.

Learn About Ham Radio

NACCHO will be providing a series of resources to assist in your preparations for the examination. Webinars, practice tests, and links to relevant websites will be made available in the months leading up to the Preparedness Summit. In addition, NACCHO is hosting an in-person ‘HAM-Cram’ review session the night before the examination at the Preparedness Summit to ensure your success! If you are interested in participating in the webinars and/or taking the ham radio license exam at the Summit please sign up for more information.

Join the Public Health Amateur Radio Club

There are more than 720,000 licensed amateur radio operators throughout the United States and we have heard from many public health departments and medical reserve corps units that rely on amateur radio for communications support.

The formation of the Public Health Amateur Radio Club will allow for the exchange of information and resources, while providing a community where amateur radio enthusiasts within the public health profession can come together for camaraderie, learning and fellowship.
If you are interested in amateur radio and public health, this group is for you! Click here to join.

Ham Radio Test Resources

Operation of an amateur radio requires an operator license granted by the Federal Communications Commission. There are three classes of license: Technician Class, General Class, and Amateur Extra Class. Before receiving a license, you must pass an examination. Most new amateur radio operators start with the Technician Class operator license. There are numerous resources to help you prepare for the Technician examination. The American Radio Relay League provides resources and information for individuals seeking licensure. Numerous study guides, question banks and resources are available for little to no cost.

Additional study resources:

W5YI Group
AA9PW Practice Examination Site
The HAM Whisperer Site
HAM Study Site
eHAM.net
QRZ.com