Emergency Social Services

Emergency Social Services

Emergency Social Services (ESS) provides short-term assistance to British Columbians who are forced to leave their homes because of fire, floods, earthquakes or other emergencies. This assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support and family reunification.

During such emergencies, ESS staff is responsible for the opening of a reception center to facilitate the following:

  • Register evacuees with the Red Cross to help reunite families.
  • Provide referrals for food, clothing and shelter, as funded by the Provincial Emergency Program.
  • Provide personal services such as first aid, emotional support, counseling, basic health care and much more.
  • Arrange group lodging if no commercial facilities are available.

Other groups that work with ESS are the Canadian Red Cross, the Salvation Army, BCSPCA, Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART), and First Nations Emergency Services (FNES).