Emergency Support Service Program

Emergency Support Services (ESS) is designed to provide short-term basic support to British Columbians impacted by disasters ranging from a single house fire to larger events, such as wildfires. These supports enable those impacted to re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after an emergency or disaster.

The program is financed by Emergency Management BC (EMBC) and administered by First Nation Governments and Local Authorities.


We are working to improve the provincial Emergency Support Services (ESS) program through a project aimed at digitizing and modernizing ESS delivery.

Service delivery

Based on need and circumstances of the emergency, local authorities or First Nation governments may offer ESS to an evacuee for a short period of time. 

Read more about Emergency Support Service Delivery.


In many cases homeowners or tenant insurance held by the evacuees will provide greater support than what is available through this program. If you are evacuated please consult with your insurance provider to determine what may be available to you.

There are specific condition requirements to be eligible for these supports. For example, if you are self-sufficient (such as having appropriate insurance or the means to support yourself for those first 72 hours), you would not be eligible for ESS. 

For specific details on ESS eligibility see the  Evacuee Living Assistance Policy (PDF).

Contact information

General questions

Contact the your Emergency Management BC (EMBC) regional office for more information.

Vendor/supplier questions

Inquiries about outstanding invoices can be directed to ESS Finance by e-mail to essfinanceinquiries@gov.bc.ca.

ESS mailing address

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

ESS call centre

During large events the ESS Call Centre may be activated and can be reached toll free in B.C. 1 800 585-9559.