Emergency Support Service responder resources

Forms, guides and manuals for Emergency Support Service (ESS) response teams.

Paper forms

ESS paper forms are carbon-layered documents for use in service delivery. These can be useful in a power outage, and it's recommended to have paper forms available to ESS teams in addition to any digital tools you use.

Order ESS forms by:

  1. Completing the supply order form (PDF, 65KB)
  2. Returning it to your Emergency Management BC regional office

The billeting invoice can be downloaded for use. It's not a carbon-layered form. 

Printable form
Name Purpose Link

Billeting Invoice 

Referrals unit workers or level one ESS responders give this form to an evacuee who is going to stay with a host. The host completes it. It's valid only when it's submitted with a completed white copy of the referral form EMB2395.

Billeting Invoice (PDF, 88KB)

Rate Sheet

ESS volunteers give this sheet to evacuees along with the referral form EMBC2395. It shows the amounts of money evacuees can receive for their basic needs. 

EMBC2395R (PDF, 78KB

Sample forms are carbon-layered paper forms you can order.

Sample forms




Referral Form

Referrals unit workers or level one ESS responders use this form to refer evacuees to suppliers of food, clothing, lodging etc. It instructs suppliers to invoice the provincial government.

EMBC2395 sample (PDF, 308KB)

Referral Form Record

Documentation unit workers use this form to record when they issue a referral form to a referrals unit worker or a level one ESS responder.

EMBC2395A sample (PDF, 18KB)

Supplier Consent

Resource acquisition workers use this form when they reach an agreement with a private provider of emergency services. It describes the goods and services EMBC can reimburse and their rates. It is not a legal agreement.

EMBC2396 sample (PDF, 204KB)

ESS File

(Registration and Services Record)

Registration unit workers in reception centres use this form to register the identity, location and needs of evacuees. The form is only mandatory if an evacuee wants to be referred to a private provider.

EMBC2576 sample (PDF, 173KB)

ESS Follow-up Card

Documentation unit workers use this card to show an ESS file (above) needs follow-up.

EMBC2576A sample (PDF, 89KB)

ESS Out Card

Documentation unit workers in reception centres use this when a completed ESS file (above) is taken from the master file.

EMBC2576B sample (PDF, 14KB)

Change of Information Form

Registration unit workers in reception centres use this form to update information of people who've already registered.

EMBC2622 sample (PDF, 86KB)

Guides and manuals

These guides and manuals were created to help ESS responders assist evacuees.

Program foundations 

Emergency Support Services is a provincial program delivered by First Nations and Local Authorities that meets the basic needs of British Columbians impacted by disasters by providing short-term support in a compassionate manner.

The Emergency Social Services Field Guide (PDF, 4.5MB) is for local authorities and emergency social service teams. It outlines how services are structured in B.C., clarifies procedures and gives guidelines.

Emergency social service directors, level one responders and reception centres should have it. The emergency support service office emails amendments.

The branding guide (PDF, 294KB) provides instructions for using the emergency social services (ESS) program logo. Download the ESS logos zip folder for a variety of file types.

The ERA tool can be used by evacuees to self-register for support services, by responders to register evacuees and by suppliers to submit invoices.

More details on using the ERA tool is on the Launch ESS page.

ERA tool

The Reception Centre Operational Guidelines (PDF, 5.6 MB) provides workers with information and resources to run a centre. It includes:

  • Guiding principles
  • Organization charts
  • Management team
  • Activation levels
  • Checklists, and
  • Forms

Referral unit supervisor's guide

Referral units operate at reception centres during large disasters. (They can also be active during level one emergencies.) They connect evacuees to food, lodging, clothing, emotional support, family reunification.

The Referral Unit Supervisor's Guide (PDF, 1.5 MB) offers tools and tips for:

  • Tracking resources
  • Identifying evacuees
  • Scheduling volunteers’ shifts
  • Completing referral forms
  • Billeting

Documentation units often operate at reception centre during large disasters and can also be active in level one emergencies. Units record information about evacuees. The Documentation Unit Supervisor's Guide (PDF, 1.3 MB) offers tools and tips for:

  • Implementing and operating a unit
  • Distributing, collecting and reviewing forms
  • Reuniting families
  • Gathering and collating statistics

The Group Lodging Operational Guidelines (PDF, 1.6 MB) is for group lodging workers. It includes guiding principles, organization charts, activation levels, checklists and forms.

Team resources 

A level one emergency is a local event that can be managed using a smaller number of resources.

The Level One Emergency Support Services (ESS) Supervisor Guidelines (PDF, 38KB) offers an overview of a supervisor’s responsibilities, suggested training and experience for the position, and a list of aids.

The Maximizing Stress Resilience Manual (PDF, 324KB) is for organizations, agencies and businesses. They can use it to assess whether a new emergency social service recruit will cope in a disaster.

Current responders may also find the manual useful, especially the sections Trauma and Disaster Work: A Self-Assessment and Your Health and Disasters.

The British Columbia Disaster Worker Care Committee developed the manual with the support of the Emergency Support Services Office and the ESS Advisory Committee.

Policy 5.03 Evacuee Living Assistance:

  • Sets program eligibility criteria and evacuee responsibilities
  • Forms the framework under which emergency support services programs operate
  • Is the basis for local and provincial government decision making

The Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer Code of Conduct (PDF, 34KB) defines the rights and responsibilities of volunteers. Before assisting in an emergency, volunteers must read the code and complete a Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer Registration form. You can get the form from your team leader.