Emergency Support Services

Emergency Support Services (ESS) provides short-term assistance to British Columbians who are forced to leave their homes because of fire, flood, earthquake, or other emergencies. This assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support, and family reunification.

ESS Registration & Reception Centre Location

If you have been evacuated, your local authority will direct you to the appropriate reception centre and will advise of the operating hours of that location.

Evacuated residents are encouraged to stay with friends or family. If this is not possible and you require ESS support, report to your assigned reception centre as advised by your local authority in your Evacuation Order. Emergency Support Services will only be provided if your primary residence is one of the properties under evacuation order assigned to this location.

Kamloops ESS Reception Centre: McArthur Island Sports Centre, 1655 Island Parkway. 

If you have been evacuated due to wildfires, you should register with Emergency Support Services (ESS) whether you need the support or not. This will help ensure that your loved ones and communities know where you are and know that you are safe. If you do not require Emergency Support Services, simply register online. More information is provided below.

ESS Online Registration

Kamloops is now using an online registration system, created by Emergency Management BC (EMBC) to register evacuees. 

The online platform includes evacuee registration with a self-serve registration option to streamline processes for evacuated individuals to access services more easily and efficiently. Registering online reduces wait times and provide information on things to do and consider for evacuees and reduce processing time for volunteers.

If you are evacuated from your home and require support from Kamloops, you can register online prior to arriving at the reception centre. Once registered, proceed to the City of Kamloops' reception centre to receive supports. 

If you do not require Emergency Support Services, simply self-register online.
If you require assistance with self-registration you can ask for help by calling the Emergency Support Services Info Line: 1-800-585-9559.

Tip: After you register, you may receive calls from unlisted numbers regarding your evacuee registration. Make sure your voicemail box is not full so ESS volunteers can leave a message.

If you are unable to register online, you may still register in person at the reception centre. 

ESS Online Registration

Volunteer with ESS

Emergency Support Services is based on volunteerism and is dependent on the willingness of individuals in the community to help plan for the well-being of their neighbours and fellow citizens in the event of a disaster.

ESS volunteers assist their communities in many ways, including:

  • linkage to first responders agencies
  • informing local businesses of the program
  • identifying potential reception centres and group lodging sites
  • recruiting and training more volunteers
  • completing contact lists and exercising their plan
  • informing the public of help available following a disaster
  • providing for the essential needs of people affected by a disaster

Making a difference as part of a team that provides assistance and a shoulder to lean on when disaster forces people from their homes.

Volunteers gain valuable experience and contacts in the field of emergency management. Volunteer training is provided free of charge through the Justice Institute of BC and support organizations. Training modules include reception centre operations, family reunification, group lodging and more.

Volunteers form the backbone of ESS and are recognized by local government as part of a network of emergency responders.

Volunteers will be working directly with evacuees to support their ESS registration and provide referrals to necessary supports.

Volunteers must be:

  • comfortable working on computers
  • comfortable speaking directly with evacuees over the phone
  • able to complete the necessary ESS training
  • able to obtain a Police Information and Vulnerable Sector Check

To apply to be an ESS volunteer please fill out the online application:
ESS Volunteer Application

Reception Centres

Reception centres are set up in order to provide for essential needs of people affected by a disaster. The reception centre is a site (staffed by ESS volunteers) where evacuees may be received during a disaster. The  facility used could be a recreation centre, community centre, church hall, or school—it depends on what is available in the community or what is needed.

Reception centres are also used as an information centre, a staging site for volunteer disaster relief workers, a site where insurance adjusters can operate, an emergency day care centre, etc.

The current dedicated Reception Centre within Kamloops is located at McArthur Island Sports Centre located at 1655 Island Parkway. Emergency Support Services will only be provided if your primary residence is one of the properties under evacuation order assigned to this location. Evacuees should confirm their assigned Reception Centre prior to arrival.