Rapid City and Pennington County provides public impact messages using a notification system that was initiated in October 2020.
The notification system is a joint effort involving Pennington County, City of Rapid City, Rapid City Police Department, Pennington County Sheriff's Office, Rapid City Fire Department, Pennington County Highway and Pennington County Emergency Management in partnership with Everbridge Software Company.
Weather and emergency-related messages will be communicated through the Everbridge notification system. The information and instructions can be found online at https://www.pennco.org/textalerts and Public Warning Messages - Pennington County, South Dakota (pennco.org)
"As we approach the winter, and really any time or season throughout the year, we encourage the public to subscribe to the alert system as a way of staying informed and receiving official notifications regarding incidents having public impact," said Alexa White, Deputy Director with Rapid City-Pennington County Emergency Management. "It's easy to subscribe to the system to receive alerts. Messages sent will relate to accidents and infrastructure incidents that impact traffic flow, structure or grass fires causing traffic hazards or delays, weather-related no travel advisories or snow cleanup messaging. These events and others are useful to the public."
Subscribers to the system can text keywords to 888777 on their mobile devices to receive messages. Users can choose to receive any or all of four separate impact messages. Messages will be sent to a specific keyword depending on the location of the incident or event. City and county impact messages regarding snow operations or hazardous travel will be issued with the event names 'RCSnow' for Rapid City and 'PCSnow' for Pennington County. These messages could include the issuance of a downtown snow alert, the closures of specific facilities such as City Hall, County Administration Offices, the City Landfill, Library, Airport or Rapid Transit Services, or travel advisories in the county and community issued by authorities.
In addition, subscribers can choose to receive text alerts entitled 'PCImpact' and 'RCImpact'. City impacts include events such as major accidents with road closures, utility line failure resulting in traffic impacts, or an alert issued by the Rapid City police or fire departments impacting traffic or neighborhood residents. Pennington County impact events include traffic impacts due to an accident, wild fire with evacuations or closures, law enforcement events requiring public notification.
Text one or more of the following keywords to '888777':
RCSnow: Includes messages about downtown snow alert declarations, closures of City operations such as Landfill, Library, Rapid Transit, Airport and City Hall.
PCSnow: Includes travel advisories in the county, closures of county administrative offices, etc.
RCImpact: City impacts such as major accidents w/road closures, utility line failures with traffic impacts, police and fire alerts impacting traffic or specific neighborhood residents.
PCImpact: County events could include accidents with traffic impacts, fire with evacuations or closures, law enforcement events requiring public notification.
This information and instructions can be found online at Public Warning Messages - Pennington County, South Dakota (pennco.org) and https://www.pennco.org/textalerts