Emergency Support Service program

Emergency Support Services (ESS) provides short-term basic support to people impacted by disasters. 

The program is financed by the provincial government and administered by Indigenous communities and local governments.

On this page

About ESS

This section contains the details about the provincial ESS program.

  • Support services during an emergency is for the general public and covers eligibility, what supports are provided, and how they are delivered
  • Launch ESS explains how to get started, program foundations and the ERA tool, reception centres, and group lodging
  • ESS responder resources provides all forms, operational procedures and service delivery guidelines
  • ESS news informs subscribers on program updates and changes

ESS modernization

The Emergency Support Services Modernization Project is improving the delivery of support services by:

Modernizing helps ensure people receive timely access to services in a disaster, and better supports ESS teams. Email questions about modernization to: essmodernization@gov.bc.ca.

Subscribe to the ESS news page to stay informed of our progress.


Trained responders are critical in the delivery of ESS. Both emergency management and ESS training for staff and approved volunteers is available through partnership with the Justice Institute of BC.

Volunteering for ESS

ESS relies on volunteers to coordinate support services for people forced from their homes in an emergency. Visit Emergency support service (ESS) volunteers to learn what volunteers do and how you can join.

Contact Emergency Support Services

General questions

Contact your regional office for more information.

ESS information centre

During large events the ESS information centre may be available. Evacuees, responders and suppliers can call 1-800-585-9559.

ERA technical questions

Evacuees, responders, and suppliers may call 1-844-537-7377 for technical assistance when using the evacuee registration and assistance (ERA) tool.

Supplier reimbursement questions

Inquiries about outstanding invoices can be directed to to essfinanceinquiries@gov.bc.ca.

ESS modernization project

Local emergency programs can email modernization questions at essmodernization@gov.bc.ca

Mailing address

Emergency Support Services
PO Box 9201, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C.  V8W 9J1