Emergency Support Services

Emergency Support Services (ESS) is a provincial program delivered locally in more than 150 municipalities across British Columbia. ESS is supported by 5000 volunteers who donate their time and energy to assist others in an emergency.

You Are Not Alone in an Emergency

Emergency Support Services (ESS) provide short-term assistance to British Columbians who are forced to leave their homes because of fire, floods, earthquakes or other emergencies. This assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support and family reunification. The goal of ESS is to help people begin to re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster. Maple Ridge has a well-established ESS team of volunteers who are standing by to assist in an emergency.

Under Bill 31 – 2023: Emergency and Disaster Management Actmunicipalities, First Nations communities and regional districts are responsible for responding to emergencies in their areas, including providing emergency support services.

Maple Ridge’s ESS Team 

Managed by the Canadian Red Cross, the City of Maple Ridge ESS volunteers are trained and ready to help in an emergency.

Maple Ridge's ESS team is steered by an ESS Plan that establishes guidelines for how to respond in an emergency. It outlines how municipal staff and volunteers will work together, where Reception Centres and Group Lodging facilities will be located, and the roles and responsibilities of staff, volunteers, and agencies. 

How Does ESS Help?

British Columbians forced from their homes may receive emergency support services for up to 72 hours. The ESS program helps people affected by large emergencies, but may also assist during smaller emergencies such as house fires or disasters affecting a few members of a community. 

Reception Centres

A Reception Centre is a safe place where people can go to receive information, assistance, and support. When residents are forced to evacuate their homes during an emergency or disaster, the ESS program will direct them to Reception Centres or group lodging facilities. When a Reception Centre is opened, the location will be shared through first responders, at key locations, and through the City of Maple Ridge website, social media, and Alert Maple Ridge

 Reception Centres provide evacuees with:

  • Meals or food preparation facilities
  • Clothing, blankets and toiletries
  • Temporary lodging if they are unable to find lodging for themselves
  • Assistance finding and reuniting with loved ones
  • Specialized support including first aid, child care, and emotional support

Pets are welcome at Reception Centres. If you have nowhere to house your pet during an emergency, don't leave them behind.

If you are impacted by an emergency or disaster but remain in your home, you are still encouraged to register at a Reception Centre to get current information regarding the disaster. 

Group Lodging

Group Lodging is a safe place where people can go to sleep and eat, and receive specialized care, including transportation and health services such as first aid and emotional support. Availability of Group Lodging depends on the size of the emergency, the availability of commercial lodgings and the number of responders.

Did You Know?

In many cases evacuees' homeowners or tenant insurance will provide support. Review your home insurance policy. 

Emergency Education

Support your community during an emergency with formal training.

Maple Ridge Emergency Program

The Emergency Program plans and prepares for emergencies, educates public about preparedness, ensures readiness of the Emergency Operations Centre and coordinates local volunteers engaged in Emergency Support Services.

Tel: 604-463-5880
Fax: 604-476-3069

Justice Institute of BC

Emergency Management

For more than 20 years, the Emergency Management Division has been educating students, organizations and communities to prepare for, mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters. Choose from experience-based certificate programs, or earn a diploma Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies.

Check out the Emergency Management course offerings.

Health Emergency Management BC

Disaster Psychosocial Program

The program develops and provides strategies with a continuum of supportive services, targeting both the public and responders affected by an emergency or disaster. These services are intended to assist in diminishing the long-term psychosocial effects and improve an individual or community's adaptive coping mechanisms.

Learn about and join the Disaster Psychosocial Support volunteer network.

Learn Lifesaving Skills - First Aid and CPR

Learning lifesaving skills such as First Aid and CPR will allow you to assist your community in the event of an emergency or disaster. Organizations like the Canadian Red Cross and St. John Ambulance offer a variety of First Aid and CPR courses.