Mass shootings at schools and shopping centers have become a reality for many communities, and officials in Yakima want to be prepared in case anything ever happens at the Valley Mall in Union Gap.

Jim Hall, director of the Yakima County Office of Emergency Management, says his staff is holding a tabletop exercise today and then later this year they will hold an exercise at the mall.

In the middle of October we’ll do a full-scale exercise at the mall with actors and a bad guy doing bad things.

Wednesday’s tabletop exercise at the Yakima County Resource Center in Union Gap will involve officials from the mall. It will also include the Union Gap police and fire departments, public works, hospitals and other mutual-aid response departments and agencies from throughout the valley.