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reception centres
ESS Reception Centres
Reception Centre Operational Guidelines
ESS Position Descriptions

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What are they?

Reception Centres are sites where evacuees may be received during an disaster. They may be a facility such as a recreation centre, church hall, school, hotel lobby, or even a tent - it depends on what is available in the community or what is needed.

Reception Centres should be flexible for multipurpose use. Space may be required for use as a gathering and information centre, a staging site for volunteer disaster relief workers, a site where insurance adjusters can operate, an emergency day care centre, etc.


What are the services they provide?

Reception Centres are set up in order to provide for essential needs of people affected by a disaster. The Reception Centre (RC) organizational chart identifies many of the services that may be available at a Reception Centre, depending on the type and scope of the emergency.

When do you open a Reception Centre?

The ESS Plan is an important part of the community's emergency plan. During an emergency response, the ESS Plan can be activated, either in whole or in part, under the direction of the local ESS Director, Emergency Program Coordinator or designate. Whether or not a Reception Centre will be opened is dependent on many factors including the size of the emergency, and the number of volunteers or facilities available.


How do you set up a Reception Centre?

Each Reception Centre floor plan will be unique, depending upon the layout of the facility. Once ESS team members have been trained in Reception Centre by the Justice Institute, they will be ready and able to create a floor plan that will ensure smooth and effective operations in each potential Reception Centre.

You will need a Reception Centre Kit for each potential Reception Centre. These kits provide the equipment to do the initial setting up of the facility. For a list of suggested Reception Centre Kit supplies Click here >>

Detailed instruction on Reception Centre requirements is provided to ESS volunteers and local staff through the Justice Institute.

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Reception Centre Planning Tool

This tool is designed to help the local ESS team design a potential floor-plan layout for a Reception Centre. The planned placement of services can be done by either the icon drag and drop method or by the text box creation and then drag and drop placement. The program is basic and is not intended to cover all possible shapes and designs of buildings available to a community. It is believed that use of this tool will allow ESS planning groups to help visualize how Emergency Social Services can be located in a Reception Centre. The local ESS planning group should refer to the Reception Centre Operational Guidelines for further details on preparing a Reception Centre. The resulting diagram can be printed off and used for future reference (see the technical instructions to learn how). Play with the program and enjoy.

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Please provide the ESS Office with any feedback or ideas that you discover that can assist us in making this a better and more effective tool for your use.


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Page Updated: 2006 November 03