Amateur radio operators take part in simulated emergency

The test prepares ham radio operators to help with communications during power outages, natural disasters

Fourteen San Benito County amateur radio operators on Oct. 3 participated in an emergency communicators simulated emergency test, designed to ensure they are prepared for real emergencies as local as a power outage or as devastating as a large-scale earthquake.

Activities during the test included setting up mobile antennas that run on batteries or solar panels, and checking in with state communication officials using high frequency radios. 

This year, San Benito County Amateur Radio Association (SBCARA) members members set up their main portable radio at the San Benito County Fair and ran on batteries charged by solar panels.   

Amateur radio operators, also called hams, are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to use special frequencies to communicate far and near. In the event of a real emergency, hams would assist in establishing communications where needed for San Benito County citizens and local government. They push the boundaries of what is possible with mobile radios and antennas.  Some of the devices amateur radio operators created led to innovations such as cell phones and VOIP (voice over Internet protocol), which allows people to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection.

To find out more about amateur radio, become an amateur radio operator, or join the SBCARA, visit its website by clicking here.

Heatherly Takeuchi

I work as a Mathematics and Science tutor. Like most people, I wear multiple hats; my other chapeaus include photographer, graphic designer, writer, and book editor. Then when I'm not working, I volunteer with the Office of Emergency Services as a communications specialist. I also run a group that trains and licenses amateur radio operators.