Emergency Social Services (ESS) is an emergency response program that provides services that are required to preserve the well-being of people affected by an emergency or disaster.
The program provides short-term assistance to British Columbians who are forced to leave their homes because of a fire, flood, earthquake or other emergency. This assistance includes the provision of food, clothing, lodging, emotional support and family reunification.
In British Columbia, municipalities are responsible for planning and operating emergency responses, including Emergency Social Services, within their jurisdictional areas with assistance funded by the province.
Delta Emergency Social Services
The Corporation of Delta has a well established Emergency Social Services program that operates in North Delta, Ladner and Tsawwassen, and it is prepared to meet the needs of the community for the first 72 hours following a disaster or emergency.
The success of the ESS program depends on a strong partnership between community volunteers and staff of the Corporation of Delta. Together we plan and provide for the essential needs of individuals, families and response workers.
The Parks, Recreation and Culture department is responsible for administering Delta's program and employs a full-time Emergency Social Services Manager. The Emergency Social Services Manager administers the ESS program in consultation with the Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture and the Chief of Delta Fire & Emergency Services.
Volunteer with ESS
ESS Volunteer Responsibilities
Emergency Social Services volunteers assist their communities in many ways, including:
- Informing the public of resources available following a disaster
- Providing for the essential needs of people affected by a disaster
- Creating linkages to first responder agencies
- Maintaining rapport with local businesses and service agencies
- Identifying potential Reception Centre and Group Lodging sites
- Exercising emergency response protocol
- Recruiting and training volunteers
In the event of a major emergency or disaster in Delta, volunteers are responsible for undertaking their own personal preparedness in order to be able to respond quickly and professionally during emergency situations. The first responsibility of an Emergency Social Services volunteer is their safety and the safety and security of their family. When this has been established, volunteers are responsible for providing emergency human support services.
Volunteers in Delta's ESS program are responsible for obtaining training in Emergency Social Services. Training is available through the Justice Institute and support organizations in various emergency management topics including Reception Centre Operations, Registration & Referrals, Family Reunification, and Disaster Child Care, and more. There are no specific skills required to become a volunteer. However, skills in areas such as volunteer management, interviewing and second languages are considered an asset.
How to Become a Volunteer
The Corporation of Delta's ESS program is dependent on the willingness of individuals to help plan for the well-being of their community in the event of a disaster.
Volunteers are always needed and welcomed. The Corporation of Delta is currently recruiting volunteers into its Emergency Social Services program. A commitment of approximately 2-4 hours a month is required for training and exercises.
For more information about becoming an ESS volunteer, please contact the Emergency Social Services and Seniors Resource Coordinator at 604-946-3298 or by email.
To find out more information about Emergency Social Services in British Columbia, please visit: