The Regional Municipality Of York


Emergency Social Services

What is the role of Emergency Social Services?

Emergency Social Services (ESS) plans for and coordinates the delivery of services to address immediate and short term needs of residents who have been impacted by an emergency or disaster within York Region. Generally, these short term services are not only required to preserve the wellbeing of residents but to also help they get back on their feet.  ESS services are most commonly provided in a reception centre - a safe place where people can go to receive food, clothing, shelter and information about the emergency.

During an emergency, the ESS team coordinates the delivery of emergency social services in partnership with local municipalities and external agencies. Putting plans and resources in place can help people get through a difficult moment in their lives.

When are Emergency Social Services provided?

Emergency social services are intended to help individuals affected by large emergencies or evacuations.  Services may include:

  • Registration
  • Family reunification
  • Emotional support
  • Coordination of essentials such as food, clothing and lodging

These services help people remain independent and self-sufficient during an emergency and to re-establish themselves as quickly as possible afterwards.

It’s always better to be prepared

The following tips will help you re-establish yourself as quickly as possible after an evacuation:

  • Scan and email yourself a copy of your important documents, like your identification, health card and insurance coverage card
  • Complete an emergency contact card and make copies for each member of your family
  • Save photos of any medications that you or your family members take on your phone
  • Identify a meeting spot for your family outside of your neighborhood in case you are separated during an evacuation
  • Save your policy numbers and the contact information for your home and vehicle insurance companies on your phone

Related Resources


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