Reception Centres

What is a Reception Centre?

A Reception Centre is a facility or location that can be used for many different purposes, such as gathering during temporary displacement, information sharing, or a staging site for volunteer disaster relief workers.

Although every resident is encouraged to have a plan and an emergency kit, Emergency Support Services is in place to help everyone. People who are forced to evacuate their homes in an emergency may be directed to a Reception Centre to register and receive assistance.

A Reception Centre is set up by your local Emergency Support Services team and is generally available for 72 hours. It is a safe place where people can go to receive:
  • Information about the emergency;
  • Assistance meeting their basic needs (food, clothing, shelter);
  • Help planning their recovery from the disaster; and
  • Other services.

When is a Reception Centre Opened?

During an emergency response, the Emergency Support Services Plan is activated under the direction of the local Emergency Support Services Director, Emergency Program Coordinator, or designate. Whether or not a Reception Centre will be opened is dependent on many factors including the size of the emergency, the number of evacuees, availability of facilities, and the availability of trained ESS responders.

A Reception Centre is usually activated when the number of evacuees generally exceed 12 and the event typically involves multiple dwellings. (e.g., neighbourhood or apartment block)

Where is the Nearest Reception Centre?

Identifying appropriate locations for a Reception Centre and operating them in an emergency are among the most important duties of an Emergency Support Services (ESS) team. Choosing a location for a Reception Centre depends upon many factors related to the event, such as required size, amenities, and distance from any hazards.

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows ESS maintains a list of suitable locations to choose from that include community centres, recreation centres, churches, and schools.

When a Reception Centre is opened the location will be shared with evacuees through first responders, and by posting information at key locations as well as on our website.