Panic Purchases: 8 Things You Shouldn’t Buy Before A Storm Hits

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Shopping before a big storm hits is sort of like shopping when you're hungry. Mistakes are often made.

When the news breaks of a massive storm, the first thing people do is rush out to stock up on whatever they can grab. People converge on every supermarket and hardware store and go hog wild. While some of the purchases are completely sound and sensible, there’s also a lot of regret after the weather passes.

Here are a few things you might want to avoid.

Condensed Milk

condensed milk in a can

Unless you buy this regularly for baking, the can will sit in your pantry for years as the ultimate "what was I thinking?" reminder.

Too Much Bread

bread stack

For some reason the first thing people stockpile is bread. Like we're reverting back to biblical times when that was all you needed to survive. A typical loaf of bread goes bad in less than a week. Ask yourself: How much bread does my family consume normally? If it's less than a loaf a week, take it easy.

Frozen Stuff

frozen food aisle at the supermarket

Everything in your freezer will go bad if the power goes out long enough for it to melt. Plus, you probably already have so much stuff in there already. Skip buying new frozen items and make a pact to eat all the things that are already in there.

Too Many Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

This may seem like bad advice, but unless the supermarket is unloading these on the cheap, or you plan on making a stew or pie, only buy what you might consume. Otherwise, you’re just buying all this stuff to throw out.

Salt, Pepper, Spices


At one point in history, you’d be able to barter these items for goods and services. Now, not so much. Unless you’re out of these things already, best to skip this aisle.

Two-Way Radios

two-way radio walkie talkies

First responders and emergency personnel need them to do their job. You want them because they’re cool. Which is fine, but know that your family will get mad when you don’t have any batteries left for the flashlights because you used them all up chatting on the walkie talkies.


tin of spam

Yes, it stays good forever and might be able to keep you alive. But to what lengths, people? To what lengths?

Hard Tack

hard tack crackers

Even though nowadays this stuff is primarily consumed by Civil War reenactors, this non-expiring, impossible to bite cracker can quickly turn a weather emergency into a dental emergency.

We’re fully aware this list isn’t nearly complete, which is why we need your help. What items have you bought in a panic that you later regretted. Let us know here!

Related: Supplies You Will Need In A Weather Emergency Or Power Outage

Gene Newman

Editorial Director, Everplans

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