Your EMO eNews
June 15, 2021

New Governance Structure for EMO (with a thank you!)
The emergency programs for the City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach work in unison to provide large scale disaster support and emergency service to residents of the Oceanside region. The Emergency Management Oceanside partnership provides an efficient, effective and cooperative approach to a holistic emergency program in our region. EMO provides professional 24/7 emergency support and has the capacity to develop and undertake preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery planning.
The Councils of the City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach recently approved resolutions supporting an updated Emergency Program Bylaw and new joint Emergency Program Services Agreement between the emergency programs of these two municipalities. The agreement secures the continued strong partnership which has existed between the City and Town for many years, and the continuation of the work and initiatives of Emergency Management Oceanside. The new bylaw allows the two local governments the same ability to share and develop the emergency program together and provide a combined response to and recovery from an emergency or disaster.
EMO Volunteer Program - Emergency Management Oceanside relies heavily on community support when responding to any size of emergency or large-scale disaster in the Oceanside area. Volunteers from the Oceanside area make up our two main programs: Oceanside Emergency Support Services (OESS) and Oceanside Emergency Communications Team (OECT). OESS volunteers help residents directly displaced by an emergency or disaster while OECT volunteers provide communications within the region, throughout the province and around the world supporting a local emergency response. If you are interested in volunteering to support your community, please contact one of the emergency coordinators listed below. No experience required and all training is provided.

EMO Vendor Program - In addition to volunteer programs, EMO relies heavily on local businesses to provide support for displaced residents. OESS volunteers provide up to 72 hours of provincially funded support including food, lodging and essentials such as clothing and toiletries. Local businesses willing to participate in this program are referred to as vendors. Displaced residents are provided with referral forms when needed which they take to vendors in exchange for itemized services. Vendors forward the completed forms to the province to be reimbursed for their services. If your business is interested in supporting Oceanside residents in this way, please contact an emergency coordinator.

EMO Can’t Do It Alone - It takes a community effort to respond to and recover from disasters, including supporting displaced residents in their time of need. Nothing is more frightening and stressful than experiencing an emergency or disaster. EMO thanks all our tireless volunteers, available to the community 24 hours a day, every day, who are there at the ready providing support to anyone suffering through an emergency. EMO especially appreciates the efforts of our volunteers and vendors to stay committed and safe while helping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The province is now in Step 2 of the BC Restart program having met the criteria of number vaccinated, case numbers continuing to drop and less hospitalizations.  

Here is a breakdown of Step 2
  • Maximum 50 people for outdoor personal gatherings (birthday parties, backyard BBQs, block parties).
  • Indoor personal gatherings up to five people or one other household.
  • Up to five people from different households can attend a dinner party at a household of four people.
  • One household of seven people can attend a birthday at another household of four people.
  • Maximum 50 people for seated indoor organized gatherings (banquet halls, movie theatres, live theatre) with safety protocols.
  • No BC travel restrictions; check local travel advisories; hotels and other accommodation providers may accept guests from throughout the province.
  • Indoor sports (games) and high-intensity fitness with safety protocols.
  • Playdates.
  • Spectators for outdoor sports (50 maximum).
  • PHO Guidance: physical distancing and masks continue to be required in public indoor settings. Business safety protocols and physical distancing measures remain in place.
Step 3 - early July (July 1 earliest date)
The third step in the reopening plan will see a “return to usual for indoor or outdoor personal gatherings” and allow for sleepovers, if 70 per cent of the province is vaccinated, and if hospitalizations continue to drop. The forecast for organized gatherings is less clear; government documents state that fairs and festivals will be allowed with a COVID safety plan in place and “increased capacity” will be in place for indoor and outdoor organized gatherings, with a COVID safety plan.
Here is a breakdown of Step 3
  • Provincial state of emergency and public health emergency lifted.
  • Returning to usual for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings.
  • Increased capacity for indoor and outdoor organized gatherings, with safety plans.
  • Nightclubs and casinos reopened with capacity limits and safety plans.
  • New public health and workplace guidance around personal protective equipment, physical distancing and business protocols.
  • PHO Guidance: masks are recommended in public outdoor settings; engage in careful social contact.
COVID-19 Vaccination Program
Everyone aged 12 years or older can make a vaccination appointment. Register online or phone; your confirmation number will be used to book an appointment. Please refer to Island Health’s website for information or call 1 833 838-2323 to book an appointment.
If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for emergency notifications for the Parksville-Qualicum Beach region. Voyent Alert! is a multi-purpose communication service which sends alerts to people who call the Oceanside region home. Alerts can be sent over a variety of channels including mobile apps, text/SMS, email or voice dial.
Registration is FREE, simple and anonymous. Mobile app users can download the Voyent Alert! app from the Apple or Google Play app stores. Email or SMS users may register online to receive email or text-based alerts at Signup can also be accessed from the City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach websites along with instructions.
Some information for you…
Shelter-in-place explained
When an emergency occurs, evacuation from the immediate area isn’t always the best option. There may be situations when it is better to avoid any uncertainty outside by taking what’s known as shelter-in-place. As the term implies, shelter-in-place is a precaution aimed at keeping people safe while they remain indoors at home, work, school or in-between.
Emergencies that might require shelter-in place include severe weather, earthquakes or release of dangerous substances outside the building. Shelter-in-place is most likely when there is not enough time to evacuate an area safely, when a suitable evacuation route has not been verified or when the source and nature of a toxic release has yet to be determined.
If instructed by emergency officials to shelter-in-place:
  • Go inside and close [and lock] all windows and exterior doors.
  • If there is a danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.
  • Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Close fireplace dampers.
  • Get your emergency kit and turn on the radio.
  • Cell phones may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency. It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room you select. If you do not have a hard-wired telephone, bring your cell phone and charger to ensure you have a method to communicate. Call your emergency contact and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition.
  • Go to an interior room without windows that is above-ground level, if you can. Because some chemicals are heavier than air, avoid sheltering in basements.
  • Bring your pets with you, and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them.
  • Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room. A wet towel can also be used to create a seal along doors and windows.
  • Monitor the radio, television, and Emergency Info BC online until you are told by local officials all is safe or you are told to evacuate.
  • DO NOT leave your building or home until you receive notification that the danger has passed. 
General Information
Town of Qualicum Beach
Town Hall will reopen to the public with full services on Monday, June 28. Hours of operation will be Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm (except statutory holidays). Although the office will be open from 9 am to 4 pm, residents are strongly encourage to take advantage of the other payment options including payment through your financial institution; mail a cheque; or drop off a cheque at Town Hall drop box (location below). If you do wish to attend at Town Hall to conduct business, masks are mandatory at this time. Contact is by any of the following methods:

  • Email                   [email protected]
  • Phone                 250 752-6921
  • Post                     PO Box 130, Qualicum Beach V9K 1S7
  • Mail Slot             Out front of Town Hall, nearest the fountain
  • Website
City of Parksville
City of Parksville offices will fully reopen to the public on Monday, June 21 with a return to regular pre-COVID hours of operation. City Hall will be open to the public from 8 am to 4 pm and the operations department in the Industrial Park will be open 8 am to 4 pm and closed noon to 1 pm.
Information for the public:
  • Entrance to the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre is from Jensen Avenue East only, with a one-way system in place to reduce contacts. Exit is through the cenotaph doors.
  • Masks are mandatory while in the building.
  • Staff may elect to meet with the public either in-person or virtually and in-person meetings will comply with protocols on physical distancing and masks.
  • For now, access to the Vancouver Island Library continues to be the outside entrance, east parking lot.
  • Main floor washrooms will open for public use.
  • The public is welcome to attend Council meetings in-person beginning with the September 8 meeting. Until that time, meetings are webstreamed from the City’s website.
  • June is a busy month for the finance department with property taxes due Friday, July 2. Security personnel will help ensure safe distancing and sanitizing procedures when in the building.
  • If sick, stay home and get tested.
  • Refer to City website, as well as Let’s Talk Parksville for more information.
Vaccine registration - 1 833 838-2323;
Medical COVID-19 information - 811
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