COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: Amateur radio takes part in emergency test

Simulation included a power outage for several days.

This commentary was contributed by Heatherly Takeuchi. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors. BenitoLink invites community members to share their ideas and opinions. By registering as a BenitoLink user in the top right corner of our home page and agreeing to follow our Terms of Use, you can write counter opinions or share your insights on current issues.


On October 1, 2021, six amateur radio operators participated in the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Simulated Emergency Test. The test prepares radio operators to handle actual communication needs in the event of an emergency.

The simulation involved Hollister being hit by a total power outage that would last several additional days. Operators who participated picked up “messages” from Bené Gifts Hollister on San Benito Street.

The messages had instructions to take information to another location or go to a location and report status. Messages were also sent to the San Benito County Office of Emergency Services as well as the Red Cross. In the event of a real emergency, amateur radio operators (also known as ham radio operators) would help local government, served agencies, and individual citizens with their communication needs.

They purchase their own radios, antennas, and batteries and are not paid for their services; they volunteer their time to help their neighbors.

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.