Ham radio may seem like an activity from the past, but government officials are relying on it as a disaster tool.

A six-hour class to test for amateur radio licenses will be offered in the first week of August by Pima County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Large-scale disasters often knock out cell phone reception, phone lines and radio stations, with ham radio often being the last method of communication.

The class will be held at 130 W. Congress from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Aug. 4 through 6. All classes must be attended before taking the $14 license test on Aug. 8.

Call 798-0600 to reserve a spot.

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