Prepare for a test-drill of Pennington County’s emergency system

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 4:17 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Pennington County’s “Public Warning Messages” are part of a multi-layered system that aims to keep the community and its businesses safe and informed during critical events and emergencies.

A test of the system will be conducted on April, 21 between 9am-9:15am. At this time a text message will be sent out to current subscribers of the “Public Warning Messages” system. *This text message system test will only be sent to those individuals who have self-registered for Public Warning Messages via the internet registration platform, and who have indicated their preferred method of contact to be by text. This preference selection can only be made by the individual and at the time of their registration. You can sign up at

It is important that individuals registered within the system are aware of the upcoming drill and understand that the test will occur at the same time as the previously planned tornado drill which is held during Severe Weather Awareness Week, April 19-23.

Public Warning Messages are used to advise community members of fast-approaching or unavoidable events, by sending out messages of alert in the event of imminent dangers.

Some examples of when the Public Warning Messages system is used, include severe weather systems, fires, floods, active-shootings and other rapidly developing, life-threatening emergencies. The system was most recently utilized to notify individuals who were being evacuated during the Schroeder Fire in Rapid City on March 29.

In the event of a true emergency, all businesses and residents with landlines who are listed in the Pennington County 911 database will be alerted to any real emergency. Only the test drill will be confined to pre-registered individuals.

Please note that with regard to Pennington County’s database, if you would like to be informed of emergencies through a platform aside from a landline, you will have to actively register your preferred method of contact. Cell phone numbers and email addresses must be chosen and registered by the individual or they will not receive alerts through those mediums.

Here in Pennington County, we will use all available and appropriate warning tools to alert the community of any life-threatening, all-risk, all-hazard emergencies, from natural to human-caused threats.

If you would like to learn more about Emergency Warning methods used in Pennington County, visit .

Visit for safety tips and information on how to plan for disasters and emergencies and learn the best ways to keep yourself and your family safe when times get tough.

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