Emergency Support Services
Emergency Support 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.
ESS is a community-based provincial emergency response program designed to assist those affected by an emergency or disaster, whether that be a single house fire or a major disaster involving mass evacuations.
The goal of ESS is to help people begin to re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster. ESS plays an important role in Emergency Management in BC by:
- Helping people to remain independent and self-sufficient
- Helping people meet their basic survival needs during a disaster
- Reuniting families separated by disaster
- Providing people affected by disaster with accurate and up-to-date information
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. The program is available for 72 hours after the disaster or emergency occurs. During these first 72 hours, evacuees should immediately plan their next steps by contacting their insurance agents, families and friends or accessing other possible resources.
Who Provides ESS?
In BC, local authorities and First Nations are responsible for planning and operating ESS as part of their overall emergency plan. More than 150 municipalities in BC have an ESS team. Approximately 5000 volunteers donate their time and energy as members of ESS teams located in communities throughout BC and in our region, municipal staff is also involved in providing services.
A Helping Hand Can Make a World of Difference
Emergency Social Services is Looking for Volunteers!
What do volunteers do?
ESS depends on community volunteers to plan and provide for the essential needs of individuals and families. The program is based on volunteerism and is dependent on the willingness of individuals in the community to help plan for the well-being of their neighbours and fellow citizens in the event of a disaster. ESS volunteers assist their communities in many ways, including:
- Providing for the essential needs of people affected by disaster
- Linkage to first responder agencies
- Informing local businesses of the program
- Identifying potential reception centre and group lodging sites
- Recruiting and training more volunteers
What are the rewards of ESS?
Making a difference as part of a team that provides assistance and a shoulder to lean on when disaster forces people from their homes.
Volunteers gain valuable experience and contacts in the field of emergency management.
Volunteer training is provided free of charge through the Justice Institute and support organizations. Training modules include Reception Centre Operations, Family Reunification and more.
Volunteers form the backbone of ESS and are recognized by local government as part of a network of emergency responders.
How can YOU make a difference?
Volunteer one hour a month for the Granisle ESS team and provide on-call assistance when required. This time commitment isn’t much, while the rewards are great.
How do I get involved?
For more information contact:
Emergency Social Services Director
Village of Granisle
#1 Village Square
PO Box 128
Granisle, BC V0J 1W0