Emergency Support Services are part of a provincial program which is delivered by local governments and First Nations. When residents of the Cowichan region are evacuated from their homes due to an emergency such as a house fire, wildfire, flood, hazardous materials situation, the Cowichan Emergency Support Services (ESS) team can be activated by emergency responders to provide evacuees with short-term basic-needs assistance. The Cowichan ESS Team provides services for the Town Lake Cowichan, the Town of Ladysmith, the City of Duncan, the Municipality of North Cowichan, the Electoral Areas of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, and also supports many of the First Nations in the region.
Where it is needed, Cowichan ESS provides evacuees with support to meet their basic needs as they transition towards recovery. Evacuees generally receive support for the first 72 hours after an evacuation. This support may include:
Evacuees must register with Cowichan ESS team to receive referrals to vendors where they can receive support. Emergency Support Services are provided to all levels of emergencies and can be delivered at or near the site of the incident or at a designated reception centre.