Why I’m not going to apologize for stocking up on toilet paper…and you shouldn’t either! Why it’s better to be prepared in an emergency than panicking later.
When news broke that the coronavirus had reached the United States, what was the first thing that people scrambled to buy?
Water? …Try again.
That’s right, before anything else, toilet paper was the first thing to go!
You probably saw photos on your social media feed – from both friends and strangers alike – of bare shelves where the toilet paper used to be.
I know I did!
Image Credit: Lauren at Happilyeverelephants.com
The run on TP quickly became the butt (see what I did there?) of jokes everywhere.
There has also been a lot of criticism directed at anyone who was “buying all the toilet paper” or those of us who admitted to prepping for a coronavirus outbreak and possible quarantine.
Now that schools across the country are closing indefinitely, the potential of an actual quarantine doesn’t sound as far-fetched as it did even a few days ago.
Why I Won’t Apologize for Stocking Up on Toilet Paper
First, I want to clarify that by “stocking up,” I mean having enough toilet paper on hand to last for a couple months, in case we’re not able to go to the stores for a little while.
There is a BIG difference between stocking up and hoarding. I don’t have an entire closet full of toilet paper, and I didn’t clean out the grocery store shelves myself.
Preparing does not mean panicking.
We stocked up on all of our supplies, from food to toilet paper, a little bit at a time. Each week we bought one extra package of toilet paper, instead of grabbing a whole bunch and leaving the store shelf empty.
We don’t have an unlimited supply, but we have enough.
Here’s why we did it:
1. I don’t want to run out of toilet paper.
I mean, do you??
The entire country of Italy was placed under quarantine last week and 50 million people in China are still under lockdown. It’s not a stretch to imagine that we might need to take similar measures here in the United States — at least in certain areas.
My husband and I decided early on to buy enough toilet paper to last us a couple months if we were not able to go to the store — whether it be for an official quarantine or simply because the virus has spread further.
Now, if there was a quarantine, our family would be careful with our supply and ration the toilet paper we do have to make it last.
But I don’t want to take the chance that we only have a couple rolls left and THEN something happens and we can’t restock. (See below)
2. The stores are running out.
It’s a matter of supply and demand.
Right now the demand for toilet paper is high, so stores have a limited supply.
We saw it in each place where coronavirus was confirmed. As soon as it was announced that coronavirus hit an area, people ran out and bought all the toilet paper (among other things).
One of the main reasons that we stocked up on toilet paper is the fact that we knew stores in our area would run out eventually.
Image credit: Rachel at Wunder-mom.com (used with permission)
3. Prepping makes us feel like we’re doing something useful
As with many looming disasters, it often feels like we can’t do much except wait and see.
And waiting is frustrating!!
We don’t have control over how this coronavirus thing goes.
Yes, we can wash our hands.
Yes, we can stay home when we’re sick or keep our sick kids home from school (please do!)
But overall, we are relatively out of control.
Preparing and stocking up let’s us feel like we’re in control, even if it is something small like making sure our bathrooms have toilet paper.
If buying extra toilet paper helps you sleep at night, who am I to criticize that?
4. You’ll never regret being prepared.
Our family lives in an area that is prone to hurricanes.
We prepare every spring for hurricane season, stocking up on food, water, and essentials. Toilet paper is one of those essentials.
Houston does not get hit by a hurricane every year. However, when a hurricane does arrive, there is usually a week’s notice at best, so it’s best to be stocked up ahead of time.
Two years ago we were trapped in our house for a week due to flooding in our neighborhood from Hurricane Harvey. Thankfully, our house suffered only minor flooding and roof damage. The biggest issue for us was that we literally could not go past our front porch for days.
Because we had prepared, we had plenty of food to eat normal meals the entire time. We had water. We had toilet paper. If we were not stocked up, things would have started to run low by the end of the week.
Now, we don’t use our emergency stash every year. But when you need it, you’ll be so grateful that you DO have that emergency stash!
Never once have I said, “man, what a waste of time it was to prepare!”
Even if this coronavirus dies down, our family will simply save our extra food and TP for this year’s upcoming hurricane season.
Don’t Apologize for Being Prepared
Whether it’s for the coronavirus outbreak, a hurricane, or whatever, you do what you gotta do to be ready…and feel ready.
It’s none of my business how many rolls of toilet paper you have in your house.
As long as you’re not renting a U-Haul and cleaning out the entire grocery store yourself, I’m actually happy that you’re preparing! That way you’re not coming after my supplies when disaster hits!! (kidding)
But in all seriousness, if everyone prepared properly before a potential emergency situation, there would be less looting, fewer people running out to try to get supplies at the last minute or breaking quarantine.
I don’t know what will or won’t happen, but I do know that I’m going to do what I can to be prepared. And if I have lots of supplies leftover for hurricane season…great!!
I’m not going to apologize for that. And you shouldn’t either.
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