Battling Fiona’s Fury in PEI
I’m Greyshirt, Sydney Gerzymisch, from the Kawartha Lakes, Ontario.
In September of this year, I was all set to go to a work event in Charlottetown, PEI. A few days after we arrived, we got the notice that the work event was cancelled due to incoming Hurricane Fiona. So rather than working, we ended up hurricane prepping on the coast of Summerside, PEI. I had never witnessed a hurricane before that. The winds violently shook our cottage for over a day, and the entire time, our lovely islander neighbours were checking on us and welcoming us into their home for coffee, food, and warmth. When the bridge reopened, and we started to make our way home, we saw the devastation and general chaos in the communities and many people in grey shirts helping. I knew then I didn’t want to leave; I wanted to find a way to help.
On the way home, I signed up for Team Rubicon, the organization I saw on the grey shirts. In September, I went on my first deployment to PEI. The experience with TR was incredible. It was amazing talking to the homeowners we were helping and learning so many new things from more experienced Greyshirts. Towards the end of the week, we even managed to rescue a golden retriever puppy wandering around the neighbourhood!
Before leaving for home, I had signed up to return! I headed back for the Chainsaw Operations 1 course and qualified as a Sawyer 1! I’m happy I could help and am excited about future volunteering with Team Rubicon. This organization is like no other.