|ESS Home > About ESS|
WHAT IS EMERGENCY SOCIAL SERVICES?
Emergency Social Services (or ESS) is a provincial emergency response program. ESS are those services required to preserve the well-being of people affected by an emergency or disaster.
NOTE: Translations of the following information is available in the following languages:
For more detailed information about the ESS program, see the on-line course titled "Introduction to Emergency Social Services" available on the Emergency Management Division, Justice Institute.
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF documents above. To get Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here or on the image below.
ESS in BC
ESS plays an important role in emergency management in BC by:
When is ESS provided?
Although ESS is designed to provide services to individuals affected by large complex disasters or emergencies, ESS may also be provided during smaller emergencies; for example a single house fire or emergencies affecting 1 to 2 families in a community.
What services are provided by ESS?
ESS provides temporary relief to individuals and families so they can begin to plan their next steps to recover after a disaster.
ESS provides primary services such as:
ESS may also provide specialized services such as:
Who provides ESS?
In BC, local authorities are responsible for planning and operating ESS. ESS is provided by local volunteers and staff.
Approximately 5,000 volunteers donate their time and energy as part of ESS teams located in communities throughout BC. Volunteers and staff of ESS Support Organizations also have important roles in providing ESS.
Every local authority in BC should have an ESS team. The leader of the ESS team is the ESS Director (or ESSD).
How is ESS provided?
ESS teams assist people affected by disaster, usually at Reception Centres. Reception Centres may be located at the local community centre, recreation centre, church, or school.
ESS teams may also provide services in the following settings:
For how long is ESS provided?
ESS is typically available for 72 hours. During these first 72 hours, evacuees should immediately plan their next steps by contacting their insurance agents, families and friends, or local non-profit agencies.
The ESS Office may authorize an extension of ESS services, in exceptional circumstances, on a case by case basis.
What do ESS teams do to prepare?
The major tasks of ESS teams are the following:
Page Updated: 2006 May 16