Emergency Program

Emergency Social Services (ESS)


British Columbians forced from their homes by fire, floods, earthquakes or other emergencies may receive emergency social services for up to 72 hours. 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.

Under the Emergency Program Act, municipalities, First Nations communities and regional districts are responsible for responding to emergencies in their areas, including providing emergency social services.  Visit the Province of British Columbia's ESS page for further information.

They often depend on volunteers to plan and provide these services, including:

  • Identifying locations for reception centres and group lodging;
  • Finding other volunteers;  
  • Working with local businesses, service organizations and government agencies;
  • Housing and feeding people forced from their homes;
  • Providing services to people who are unable to leave their homes; and
  • Supporting other emergency responders.


Each year about 5,000 British Columbians volunteer as emergency social service workers.

Current Volunteer Opportunities: Dedicated on-call volunteers are needed to assist people in the event of an emergency.  To learn more about becoming an ESS volunteer. please email the Emergency Social Services coordinator at emergencyprogram@mapleridge.ca or register here.  ESS for the City of Pitt Meadows are coordinated through the City of Maple Ridge Emergency Program.  

Are you Prepared?

Find out more about Emergency Preparedness and what you need to do to prepare yourself and your family in case of a major emergency in our community.

Every year, the first week in May is Emergency Preparedness Week. Check back for information on events or watch for us at the Ridge Meadows Home Show in May of each year.

And remember, it is important to ask yourself this question, Is your family prepared?