Emergency Support Services

Emergency Support Services fills an important role in Vernon’s emergency response by:


Emergency Support Services (ESS) is a municipal emergency response program enabled to provide support to evacuees and response workers during a disaster or emergency situation.


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 can qualify for up to 72 hours of food, shelter and incidentals and in some cases resources for clothing transportation and medical needs. ESS resources are provided through the use of Referral Forms supplied by the Province and the engagement of willing local vendors. 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 their counterparts around the Province, are the heart of the program. In addition to the ESS volunteers and their registered local vendors, the City of Vernon also works with community groups and staff to maintain a level of ESS preparedness. ESS also engages additional convergent volunteers during large scale events.


Vernon Emergency Support Services is welcoming new volunteers.  Training is provided to ESS team members.  Those interested in volunteering with Vernon Emergency Support Services (ESS) can apply HERE.


Emergency Support Services fills an important role in Vernon’s emergency response play 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 the community work through the recovery process

ESS provides temporary relief (often up to 72 hours) to individuals and families so they can begin to plan their next steps after being impacted by an emergency.

  • provide arrangements for temporary services to evacuees
  • establish pre-arranged community supplier arrangements for restaurants, grocery and clothing stores, hotels, etc.
  • adapt pre-arranged facilities to Reception Center and/or Group Lodging for a safe places where evacuees can receive information and assistance
  • provide Emergency Preparedness education to the public and community organizations

The Vernon ESS team relies on volunteers to work as part of a team.  Similar to other emergency responders, between events we prepare, plan, train and practice our ability to respond in a timely, competent manner. 

The team meets monthly (the 3rd Wednesday of the month between September and June) at the OK Landing Conference and ESS Building, 7210 Okanagan Landing Road, Vernon BC.

ESS volunteers have access to, at no charge, a number of specialized ESS training courses. Training is delivered on-line and/or through classroom sessions hosted by Vernon ESS or a neighbouring team.

Minimum Training Requirements for Vernon ESS Volunteers

Within the first three months of joining Vernon ESS, all volunteers are expected to complete:

  • ESS 100 - Introduction to ESS

And, within the first two years the following additional training:

  • ESS 107 - Level One Response
  • ESS 111 - Reception Centre
  • ESS 113 - Registration & Referrals

Other courses will be offered and will be open to all members. These include but are not limited to:

  • ESS 123 - Documentation Unit
  • ESS 125 - Managing Walk-In Disaster Volunteers
  • ESS 112 - Group Lodging Course
  • ESS 124 - Resource Acquisition: Food, Clothing & Lodging
  • ESS 171 - Site Management