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Emergency Social Services

Emergency Social Services (ESS) are those services required to preserve the well-being of people affected by a disaster.

ESS in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

The goal of ESS is to help people begin to re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster. ESS plays an important role in Emergency Management in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo by:

  • Helping people meet their immediate, basic needs during a disaster;
  • Reuniting families separated by a disaster and;
  • Providing people affected by a disaster with accurate and up-to-date information.

What services are provided by ESS?

ESS provides temporary relief to individuals and families so they can begin to plan their next steps after a disaster. Services may include:

  • Food;
  • Clothing;
  • Lodging;
  • First Aid;
  • Emotional Support;
  • Pet Care and;
  • Family Reunification.

Who provides ESS?

In Alberta, local authorities and First Nations are responsible for planning and operating ESS as part of their overall emergency plan. In the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the ESS Team is comprised of:

  • Municipal staff;
  • Alberta Human Services staff;
  • Individual community volunteers;
  • The following social (non)profit organizations:
    • Fort McMurray Victim Services;
    • FuseSocial;
    • Salvation Army;
    • Some Other Solutions;
    • St John’s Ambulance and;
    • Wood Buffalo Food Bank.

How is ESS provided?

ESS teams usually assist evacuees at Reception Centres or RC’s. RC’s are facilities recognized by the ESS team as safe gathering places for people displaced from their homes as a result of an emergency or disaster.

How long is ESS provided for?

ESS is generally available for up to 72 hours. During this time, evacuees should plan their next steps by contacting their insurance agents, family and friends, or accessing other possible resources.

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