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Norwalkers: It's Only A Test, at 2 p.m.

NORWALK, Conn. – Michele DeLuca has a message for you: "Don't stress; it's only a test."

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, the first ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will be performed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Communication Commission, said DeLuca, Norwalk's deputy director of emergency management.

The test will be heard on the radio and seen on local, cable, and satellite TV. It will last approximately 30 seconds and will be the first time this system, which is often tested and used by officials at the local level, will be tested across the entire country.

Since this system test is the first of its kind DeLuca has concern that people will hear the test alert and mistakenly believe it is a real emergency and call 911, thus overwhelming emergency dispatchers and responders. She asks that you share this information with your family, friends, and neighbors so they are aware of the test and do not contact 911 to report the broadcast.

She also hopes that this event serves as a reminder that everyone should have an emergency preparedness kit and emergency plan for themselves, their families, communities, and businesses. Anyone can visit www.Ready.gov for more information about how to prepare for and stay informed about what to do in the event of an emergency.

Remember, when the alert sounds at 2 p.m. Wednesday – on every television station – there is nothing to be concerned about. It's just those familiar words: "This is only a test."

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