Disaster can strike at any time. Fires, floods, earthquakes or other emergencies may force residents from their homes. In these situations, Emergency Social Services is there to help preserve the well-being of British Columbians. A local government may set up an Emergency Social Services Reception Center, which is a safe place to go for help and information. Here, people who have no other means of support– such as homeowners insurance, or nearby friends and family– can work with a volunteer to determine what assistance is needed. This could include food, temporary lodging, clothing, transportation, and emotional support. Eligibility for Emergency Social Services is determined by need and on a case-by-case by case basis. Those who are able to manage their own situation during difficult times are encouraged to do so. You can help prepare yourself by reviewing your homeowner’s or tenant’s insurance, which in many cases will provide greater support than what’s available through public aid. To learn more about Emergency Social Services, visit gov.bc.ca/EmergencySocialServices.