Emergency Support Services

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During an Emergency

Are You Ready?

A natural disaster can strike at any time, without warning. Learn how to make an emergency kit and plan, and protect yourself, your family, and your property.

Emergency Support Services (ESS) provides short-term assistance to British Columbians in need of emergency supports who are impacted by disasters. Assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support, and family reunification. The program is financed by the provincial government and administered by Indigenous communities and local governments.

Evacuee Online Registration

The three North Shore municipalities – District of West Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, and District of North Vancouver – are using an online registration platform to register evacuees.

The online self-registration platform, Evacuee Registration and Assistance (ERA), created by Emergency Management BC (EMBC), is designed to streamline processes for evacuated individuals so they may access services more easily and efficiently. Pre-registering online reduces wait times, provides important information for evacuees to do and consider, and reduces administrative processing time.

If you have been displaced from your home and need Emergency Support Services, you can register online prior to arriving at the reception centre. Once registered, please proceed to a designated reception centre to receive supports. If you are unable to register online, you may still register in person at the reception centre.

Even if you do not require Emergency Support Services, you are encouraged to self-register online.

If you require assistance with self-registration, call the Emergency Support Services Info Line: 1-800-585-9559.

Reception Centres

Reception centres, sometimes referred to as evacuation centres, registration centres, disaster relief centres, or family centres, receive evacuees who have been forced from their homes because of an emergency or disaster. Reception centres serve many functions and are also used as an information centre, a staging site for volunteer disaster relief workers, a site where insurance adjusters can operate, an emergency day care centre, etc.

Group Lodging Centres

A group lodging facility is the location designated by the local ESS team, in cooperation with the local authority, which provides dormitory-style accommodation for people displaced from their homes because of an emergency or disaster. These services are usually performed in local community centres, school gymnasiums, arenas, etc. At a group lodging facility, individuals will be provided with a sleeping space, meals, and information about the emergency.