What is ESS?
Emergency Social Services is a provincial emergency response program that is provided by municipalities throughout BC typically for the first 72 hours of a disaster.
In Port Moody, this service is managed by the Community Services department staff and depending upon the magnitude of the disaster, community volunteers may be mobilized for assistance.
When disaster strikes (structure fire or earthquake for example), the City will establish a Reception Centre to assist residents that have been displaced from their homes. Depending upon the nature of the disaster, either Kyle Centre or the Recreation Complex would typically be used as a Reception Centre. The Reception Centre would be the site where residents that have been evacuated would register and seek support for basic services.
Information on which facility has been identified as the reception centre is made available to the public through social media, City website, signage, TV and radio stations such as CKWX 1130 AM
During a disaster, the ESS program plays a critical role in the community by helping people meet their basic needs for food, clothing, lodging and with family reunification.
The Port Moody ESS team attends training on a regular basis and on May 12th, 2015, 30 of the 40 member ESS team attended “Evacuee Registration & Referrals” training provided by Emergency Management BC.
Team members have also been trained in: Reception Centre Operations, Documentation, Resource Acquisition, Group Lodging, Managing Walk-in Volunteers, Emergency Management, Emergency Radio Communications, Personal Preparedness, Rapid Damage Assessment, Stress Management for the Emergency Responder, Emergency Operations Centre training Levels 1 to 3 and ESS Director training.
Most importantly, it is recommended that residents be prepared to sustain themselves, their families and pets for the first 72 hours in a disaster situation.