Emergency shelter beds

Volunteer with Emergency Support Services

Help people and pets who evacuated their homes during emergencies or disasters like fires, floods, or earthquakes.

Emergency Support Services (ESS) volunteers assist at disaster sites and provide essential basic needs for evacuees on site at reception centres (evacuation shelters) and group lodging centres.

Volunteer training is provided by the City and the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Is this volunteer opportunity for you?

To volunteer for ESS, you should have the following qualities:

  • A concern for people impacted by disaster
  • Good communication skills
  • Willingness to work as part of a team
  • A sense of adventure
  • Speak another language
  • Participate at team events, attend training, and meetings

Join a specialized team

After qualifying as an ESS volunteer, apply your experience and interests to one of the specialized ESS teams:

  • Disaster assistance team members

    • Respond to house and apartment fires to provide support to evacuees
    • Sign up for a minimum eight weeks per year
    • Require considerable ESS volunteer experience (or approval from the ESS director)
  • Pet committee members

    • Plan for Vancouver's pet population during disasters
    • Set up and manage the emergency pet centre
    • Meet monthly to train, exercise, and develop plans for ESS
  • Zone team members

    • Plan and develop emergency response plans for their neighbourhood

Interested in volunteering?

Learn more and sign-up to be a volunteer