The program provides short term services to meet the basic emotional and physical well-being needs of evacuees and response workers impacted by the disaster. Residents who have been ordered out of their homes may qualify for up to 72 hours of food, shelter and incidentals, and in some cases resources for clothing transportation and medical needs. Under the Province's Evacuee Living Assistance Policy, ESS volunteers complete Referral Forms to authorize local vendors' supplies and services. ESS can be delivered remotely for small events, but most often is delivered centrally in a Reception Centre facility.
The City of Vernon engages ESS volunteers, who like counterparts around the Province, are the heart of the program. In addition to the ESS volunteers and registered local vendors, the City of Vernon also works with community groups and staff to maintain a level of ESS preparedness. Additional convergent volunteers may also be engaged to provide ESS services during large scale events.