Special Needs Emergency Preparedness Website Launches

A couple in Hope have launched a new website to provide a range of information for individuals with special needs so they can respond in the event of an emergency.The website, SNEP.ca offers tips to assist people with cognitive disabilities and their loved ones, with special needs emergency preparedness (SNEP).

The idea came up when Joshua Lemmens - one of the founders - was sitting in a cafe in downtown Hope. He was visiting a friend whose autistic adult son became entangled in a police conflict while a bystander. His arms were flailing and the man refused to listen to police orders and both Lemmens and his friend, the man’s mother, worried for his safety. “She said please don’t shoot, and went back into the house and came out with an orange … and his sole focus went on to this orange, and he was just peeling it” and it totally defused the situation. The orange, says Lemmens, was a positive trigger for the man, and “positive triggers are really important in emergency preparedness. It’s those sorts of tips that are on SNEP.ca.

So six months ago, the couple began designing the website, to which they now both contribute content: bit by bit, the duo are filling the site with “exciting and practical information that will help with preparedness for family members and caregivers of people with special needs.” Lemmens is producing informative videos and photos, while Crosbie is writing articles and creating their online presence.

To learn more about SNEP.ca, check out the article in The Chilliwack Progress.