AUSTIN (KXAN) — Throughout this week, teams from federal, state and local agencies are taking part in a massive nuclear incident exercise in Austin.

Most emergency management personnel are trained for floods, fires, tornadoes and even active shooter situations, but they’re not as familiar with how to respond to a radiological attack. 

So more than 30 agencies are participating in a weeklong demonstration across Austin. 

Low-flying helicopters will be hovering around to gather data. First responders will be staged in various locations. 

We asked why was Austin was selected for the exercise. The city’s Office of Homeland Security said it requested for the teams to come. 

“Austin is looking to be a very proactive community, to build our resiliency, and this was an opportunity we could not pass by,” Austin Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Juan Ortiz said. “You play like you practice, and so we want to make sure that our residents are as protected as they can be.” 

The planning process for this exercise in Austin began 18 months in advance, and it’ll conclude on Friday. 

The next radiation exercise will take place in Detroit in 2025. 

Here’s a list of similar exercises the National Nuclear Security Administration has conducted over the years:

  • 2010: Liberty RadEx in Pennsylvania
  • 2010: International Search and CM Workshop in Nevada
  • 2012: Amber Waves in Missouri
  • 2016: NUWAIX in Colorado
  • 2016: Northern Lights in Minnesota
  • 2019: Cobalt Magnet in Florida