The City of Mankato and Blue Earth County opened their Emergency Operations Center Wednesday for a joint training exercise involving several local agencies and entities.

Mankato Police Sergeant Justin Neumann said it’s part of, “A statewide exercise involving local public health and also local emergency management. This one is called Operation Bad Water.”

They’re simulating how they’d react and interact following a natural disaster and Neumann said, “It basically involves a number of storms coming through the area which resulted in a contamination of the water system, so we brought in not only local health but our emergency management partners, certainly a number of individuals from throughout the city infrastructure and public works, Minnesota State University – Mankato, River Hills Mall, some bigger organizations that would be affected.”

Mankato Department of Public Safety Sergeant Justin Neumann.

Neumann explained that the training gives local responders and organizations a chance to improve response, communication, and other skills necessary in the event of a disaster and, “When we started at 8:30 we got everyone together not knowing what the scenario was going to be and in real time they gave us, ‘Here’s your scenario,’ which is what’s going to happen in real life.

Another exercise Wednesday afternoon focused on an active violence – active shooter scenario at Washington Elementary School.