Emergency Support Services


Residents who are forced from their homes by fire, floods, earthquakes or other emergencies often have to leave at the last minute, and sometimes require help with short term basic needs while they make their arrangements for the longer term.

Emergency Support Services (ESS) plays an important role in emergency management by:

  • Helping people meet their basic needs during a disaster.
  • Reuniting families separated by a disaster.
  • Providing accurate & up-to-date information. 

In the RDCK, ESS is a community based emergency service staffed by volunteers, with support form the local government and Emergency Management BC.

ESS Volunteers

  • Identify potential reception centers and group lodging sites
  • Recruit and train volunteers
  • Maintain resource contact lists
  • Work with local businesses, service organizations and government agencies
  • Provide assistance to help meet the essential needs of people impacted by disasters. This may include food, shelter, clothing, emotional support and family reunification
  • Work with other emergency responders such as Search and Rescue teams

Reception Centres

During an evacuation, evacuees may be requested to register at a local ESS Reception Centre. ESS volunteers staff the centre and provide services such as information, food, shelter, clothing, emotional support, and family reunification. 

How Can I Help?

We are always looking for ESS volunteers who:

  • Have compassion for people affected by disaster
  • Have good communication skills
  • Are able to respond on short notice
  • Are flexible and work well as part of a team
  • Have a sense of adventure
  • Have good organizational skills

Contact the RDCK Emergency Program who will put you in touch with your local ESS Director.

  • Call  250-428-0299


Full training will be provided.


Volunteers form the backbone of ESS. You’ll meet and train with wonderful people, and be part of an organization that makes a difference.

Through your training and experience, you will learn to be more aware of emergencies and how to protect yourself, your family and your neighbours.

ESS volunteers receive Work Safe and liability insurance while on assignment.

The content on this page was last updated October 18 2023 at 9:22 AM