Add amateur radio to your disaster toolkit

Submitted by the San Juan County Amateur Radio Society

Has COVID got you thinking about what you can do to prepare for future emergencies and disasters, like the inevitable Cascadia Subduction Zone mega-quake? We know that it will grind our region to a halt for weeks if not months, knocking out power, transportation, and regular communications. Consider adding amateur radio skills to your personal preparations – it’s a way to help your family, your community, and meet other preparedness-minded people along the way.

The San Juan County Amateur Radio Society will be hosting a free amateur radio (“ham radio”) license exam on May 15 in Friday Harbor. Socially distanced testing will follow COVID minimum-contact protocols in compliance with state guidance. Tests will be administered to each candidate separately. Interested parties should contact Kenny KU7M at All ages welcome! Pre-registration is required by May 10.

Amateur radio is a fun and interesting hobby for anyone with curiosity about science and a desire to help the community by providing voice and data communications capability during disasters. Morse code proficiency is no longer required. Books and self-paced training resources are available at Local volunteer mentors can help you with remote studying and getting familiar with amateur radio.