Become a Licensed HAM Radio Operator at the Preparedness Summit

Man Operating Ham RadioBy Andy Roszak, Senior Director for Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness, and Catastrophic Response, NACCHO

This post originally ran on NACCHO’s new Preparedness Brief Blog. For more preparedness news and resources, visit

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 manmade 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
On Thursday, April 3,Volunteer Examiners will be on-site at the Preparedness Summit to administer 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.

Learn About HAM Radio
NACCHO will be hosting a series of free webinars designed to educate the preparedness community about HAM radio and prepare them for the examination.The webinars will be recorded and made available on NACCHO’s website. 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.

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:

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