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Nationwide alert test to be conducted Wednesday

Cell phone users will receive a nationwide test of emergency alert systems Wednesday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is conducting a test of the Emergency Alert Systems and Wireless Emergency Alert. The first portion of the test begins at 1:18 p.m. and the second portion at 1:20 p.m.

All smartphone users will receive an alert and the message will read, "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."

Tina Titze, director of the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management, says the Wireless Emergency Alert system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather or other critical situations. She says the test warning will be broadcasted for about 30 minutes, but cell phones will receive the message just once.

"This is the system that is used when the public, especially in a specific area, needs to be notified immediately," she says. "This is a way that citizens can prepare for an imminent situation."

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