We’ve all seen it. Whether in person or in film. Something bad is happening or going to happen and people rush to the stores and load their carts with—- toilet paper.

As if that’s a priority.

After all, we die after three days of no water. But toilet paper?

If the power goes out we’ll need batteries and flashlights. But toilet paper?

And not just one roll. A big bag of it.

It doesn’t make sense.

So. Why?

  1. A lack of knowing exactly what supplies are a priority. The very fact someone is rushing to the store upon notice of an emergency means they weren’t prepared to begin with, so how can they possibly know what the priorities of supplies are?
  2. Panic buying leads to more panic buying. They load their cart with cases of water, which is good, but then have a need to grab something and, well, toilet paper. I mean, it will get used.
  3. It gives people a sense of control in an uncontrolled situation. They’re doing something.
  4. They’re over-preparing. I’m big into being prepared, but toilet paper has never been a high priority, especially in a pending disaster. I focus on the specifics of the problem and prepare for that.
  5. We don’t know what to do and we don’t get clear instructions. In the early days of COVID, stores had to ration toilet paper. Many ran out. Yes, there was supply chain issues, but a lot of it was panic buying. But we weren’t getting clear instructions from the powers-that-be as to what we really needed to be doing. Even now, in year three, we’re finally seeing people advising that we get N-95 masks (not that they were available back then).
  6. When people get conflicting messages, they resort to extremes.

There’s nothing wrong with having an adequate stockpile of toilet paper. Heck, sometimes I have to walk past my grab-n-go bag to get in the Jeep to go to the store and get toilet paper because a bathroom in the house runs out. My bad.

But it’s much smarter, especially in this time of pandemic and climate change, to be a bit better prepared. My wife asked me the other day if I wanted to go to Costco and I told her I viewed Costco as one of the layers of hell and, no, thank you.

We all live in different situations and that’s why I’ve written two books. One, just coming out, is The Green Beret Area Study Workbook and the other is The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. The first one walks you through looking at your particular situation and Area of Operations and narrowing the focus on what you need to be prepared. The second one tells you how to do it and then what to do in the actual emergency.

Don’t be one of those people with the big pile of toilet paper. In fact, you don’t want to even be anywhere near those stores in the time of panic. Get prepared and be prepared.

And stay safe out there!