Snow alerts prompt rush to stockpile unnecessary things - KMSP-TV

Snow alerts prompt rush to stockpile unnecessary things

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Ice melt. Shovel. Flashlight. Get them while it's cold out. And then maybe add another shovel. It's going to snow. And so we're going to hoard tools, crowd supermarket parking lots, and make hardware store owner Todd Kirschner very happy.

"Typically, most people do freak out," Kirschner said. "Huge spike in business, yes. Absolutely. Always."

When any rumor of inclement weather blows through Plainview, Long Island, customers storm trio-hardware. We met one woman buying a shovel. She told us she has two more at home.

Those at the register on the eve of a potential weather event expect only the most dramatic possibility: "A blizzard," "terrible weather," "lots of snow," and "bad weather."

Reporters in oversized boots, wearing unnecessarily technical outerwear, braced against gusts that maybe aren't that strong, jabbering about expected wind, rain and snow also probably make stockpiling worse.

"People have more of a fatalistic view because of the things they've seen on television," said Dr. Jeff Gardere, a psychologist. He said that memories of actual worst-case scenarios drive us to over-prepare.

"There's definitely some contagion in the thinking," he said. "We see people start panicking and then we think: 'Oops maybe it's worse than we thought it would be.'"

With snow in the forecast, we'll rush to the grocery store to fill our carts with the items each of us deem apocalypse-proof.

"Vegetables, pasta, milk. Make sure we have everything," said one shopper.

"I got frozen pizza. I got eggs. Rice Krispies," said another. "The bare essentials."

Maybe this snowfall we could all do with a couple fewer gallons of milk and stock up instead on goodwill toward our fellow man.

As for the shovel queen of Long Island, she told us: "You never know: I might have three helpers and then what would the third one do?"

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