Support During Disasters

Emergency Social Services (ESS) is an emergency response program offering essential services to all those affected by wide-scale emergency or disaster in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Who Does it Serve?

  • those affected by wide-scale emergency or disaster in Newfoundland and Labrador


ESS provides temporary assistance until regular services resume operation or until other plans or programs come into effect.

Services Provided:

Reception Centre Management

Reception Centres are one-stop service sites where people can gather to receive emergency services. The Centres provide an opportunity to meet and greet all persons affected and offer the following:

  • Public information
  • Security and safety
  • First aid
  • Care for transient populations
  • Recruitment of volunteers
  • Communication devices such as telephones
  • One location to access registration and inquiry, food, clothing, lodging and personal services

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Registration and Inquiry

During the recovery phase, information on the number of people requiring emergency services is essential for effective allocation of resources and delivery of assistance.

Registration and inquiry services provide the following:

  • Collects accurate and reliable information,
  • Answers inquiries,
  • Assists in reuniting separated family members,
  • Gathers information for other support agencies.

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Emergency Food

Food may be delivered to emergency locations; provided by mobile food services and restaurants; or made available through supermarket vouchers.

Emergency Food Services provides:

  • Food for people affected by an emergency/disaster and for volunteers/ responders
  • Safety of food handling, preparation and delivery
  • Sensitivity for cultural and ethical considerations
  • Medical dietary needs

Emergency food is essential to sustain life but also helps:

  • Counteract shock
  • Raise morale
  • Provide energy

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Emergency Clothing

Clothing is provided first to prevent loss of life from exposure or to meet basic clothing needs until normal sources of supply are available. ESS may provide clothing or assistance with the purchase of clothing.

Emergency clothing includes:

  • A change of clothing if required
  • Provision of blankets to keep warm
  • Provision of comfort kits which may include: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, items for babies and children, and other items of need

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Emergency Lodging

Safe, temporary lodging may be provided in group settings such as schools, churches, arenas, halls and other large venues, or in hotels and other commercial accommodations.

Consideration is given to:

  • Availability of family/friends
  • Safety/security
  • Accessibility
  • Transportation
  • Availability of volunteer staff to manage sites

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Personal Services

People affected by a disaster may have to adjust to major changes in their lives. Personal services provide for the physical, social, emotional and financial needs of those affected.

Delivery of services may include:

  • Care for vulnerable populations
  • Religious/spiritual support
  • Recreation and library services
  • Cultural services
  • Bereavement support
  • Alternate financial income
  • Care of pets
  • Recreation
  • Interpretation services
  • Worker care and support

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How to Access?

A referral for ESS services can be made by contacting:

Fire and Emergency Services

Telephone: 1-888-395-5611