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Emergency Social Services

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Emergency Social Services (ESS) is a provincial emergency response program that provides for the various short-term needs of evacuees and response workers in a disaster or emergency situation. These short-term services (up to 72 hours) are generally required to preserve the emotional and physical well-being of evacuees and response workers affected by an emergency or disaster and are typically provided in a reception centre (reception site).

A recent example of this happening in Surrey was the Cloverdale Emergency Social Services Reception Centre that was set up during BC's wild fires in 2017.

Role of the ESS program

The ESS program includes the dispatch of staff and volunteers in Surrey to assist evacuees for 72 hours after an emergency. Services may include food, lodging, clothing, emotional support, information about the crisis, and family reunification. There may also be special services like first aid, child minding, pet care and transportation.

The ESS Program plays an important role in emergency management in BC by:

  • Helping people to remain independent and self-sufficient
  • Helping people to meet their basic survival needs during a disaster
  • Reuniting family members separated by a disaster
  • Providing people with accurate and up-to-date information about the situation at hand
  • Helping people re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster
  • Helping a community work through the recovery process

During an Emergency:

Ongoing support:

  • Insurance: Contact your local broker or call 1-844-227-5422.
  • Local Government: Contact your Local Government, their contact information is on their websites.
  • Canadian Red Cross: Call 1-800-863-6582 to access the available support.
  • General inquiries: Call: 1-800-585-9559.

ESS Partners & Suppliers

The City of Surrey's ESS program works with local residents, agencies and businesses to increase Surrey's level of emergency preparedness, as well as provide essential needs of people affected by a disaster.

ESS Suppliers

Suppliers are local organizations and businesses who sign an agreement with the City of Surrey and supply their goods and services to evacuees when a disaster strikes with reimbursement from the Province of British Columbia. Typical goods and services that evacuees need are hotel rooms, food and clothing.

Thank you to all local organizations and business who signed on to be a supplier:

  • Safeway
  • Save-On-Foods
  • Sandman Hotel and Suites
  • Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel
  • Kalmar Restaurant
  • Wal-Mart
  • Pharmasave
  • Days Inn
  • ABC Country Restaurant
  • Tim Hortons
  • Comfort Inn & Suites
  • Ricky’s All Day Grill
  • Boston Pizza
  • Ramada Inn
  • White Spot
  • Holiday Inn & Suites
  • Canadian Inn
  • Econolodge
  • Best Western Plus
  • Pacific Inn

Contact Amber Quan at amber.quan@surrey.ca or 604-591-4898 to be part of this rewarding program!

ESS Community Partners

Community partners are organizations that offer support services to residents after a disaster or emergency alongside the municipal emergency program assistance, whether it is medical help, extended support outside the 72 hours, housing aid, or help with obtaining meals for the family.

Thank you to our Community Partners for your support:

  • Canadian Red Cross
  • Victim Services
  • Salvation Army
  • St. John’s Ambulance
  • Surrey Food Bank
  • Fraser Health Authority
  • Surrey Animal Resource Centre
  • Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team
  • Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
  • BC Housing
  • OPTIONS Community Services
  • Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance
  • Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Learn more about Surrey's Emergency Preparedness.