Response Programs & Emergency Social Services

Emergency Social Services / Disaster Assistance

ESS is a pre-planned emergency response organization designed to provide those basic necessities which, after a disaster, are considered essential for the immediate and continuing well-being of persons affected.

In the Cowichan Valley the four Primary Reception Centres are:

Centenial Hall / Cowichan Lake Sports Arena

Island Savings Centre

Frank Jameson Community Centre

Kerry Park Recreation Centre
Lake Cowichan



Mill Bay
309, 311 South Shore Rd.

2687 James Street

810 6th Avenue

1035 Shawnigan Mill Bay Rd.

Services provided at Reception Centres:

Coordination of:

As well as:
Emergency Food

Family Reunification

Emotional Support


 For more information on reception centres, please see the CVRD Emergency Preparedness Workbook.

Another great resource in an emergency is the Canadian Red Cross.

Register for Emergency Alerts.  Residents and businesses within the Cowichan Valley Regional District area — including  Ladysmith — may now register to receive emergency notification for events such as forest fires, floods and hazardous materials spills that require evacuation or other emergency response actions from residents or businesses.  Register on-line at, or email: or call 250-746-2564.

The Regional District will also continue to provide emergency information through its website and local radio, television and newspapers.

Note: In order for you to receive notifications, it is vital that the CVRD has your current contact information. If you move or change your phone number or email address, you must re-register.

Ladysmith Search and Rescue - Phone: 250.245.7761

Members are experienced in ground and embankment searches. Receives training and support from B.C. PEP. Fifteen members have training in basic SAR techniques. Provides support to other provincial volunteer SAR groups when requested. Founded 1967.  

Cowichan Search and Rescue

For public education or recruiting information please visit our Website: or email at


For more information regarding search and rescues, visit the following links:

British Columbia Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) 


Emergency Service
Transit Information
Garbage Schedule
Heritage by the sea