Introduction to ESS

Introduction to Emergency Social Services

British Columbians forced from their homes because of emergencies may receive Emergency Social Services (ESS), which may include food, lodging, clothing, emotional support, information about the crisis, as well as first aid, child minding, pet care, and transportation.

Under the Emergency Program Act, local authorities such as municipalities, First Nations communities and regional districts are responsible for providing emergency social services when emergencies occur in their areas. They often depend on trained volunteers to plan and provide emergency social services, including:

  • Identifying locations for reception centres and group lodging facilities ;
  • Establishing relationships with local businesses, service organizations, and government agencies;
  • Housing and feeding people forced from their homes; and
  • Supporting other emergency responders.

Preparing for and responding to emergencies requires energy and creativity, and depends on the commitment and dedication of trained volunteers.

Introductory ESS Training

The Justice Institute of British Columbia’s (JIBC) course Introduction to Emergency Social Services (ESS100) provides new ESS responders with an overview of emergency social services. Course topics include:

  • Local authority emergency management;
  • Primary social services;
  • Specialized services;
  • The role of ESS in emergency management; and
  • Personal preparedness for ESS workers.

The course is free and is offered online and through distance learning.

For more information about emergency social services training, please see the JIBC’s Emergency Social Services web pages.