Iowa (WQAD) — Empty shelves, price hikes on toilet paper and guns selling at a rapid pace are all examples of the consequences of panic buying.
Panic buying occurs when consumers anticipate a shortage of goods due to a perceived disaster. It’s also an example of herd behavior when a group of people act in the same way together without being told to do so.
Across the nation, stores are selling out of essential items because of panic surrounding COVID-19. It’s important to take the coronavirus seriously, but experts say buying in bulk and stocking up is not necessary and can cause dangerous side effects for critical organizations who need to respond to this health crisis.
In his address on Sunday, President Donald Trump said grocery store leaders asked the public to “buy a little bit less please.”
Due to the normal limitations of America’s supply chain, high demand items may take days or even weeks to be produced and replenished on store shelves causing shortages of high demand items like hand sanitizer, wipes or face masks.
Shortages are being felt across the Quad Cities.
With several businesses working remotely or shutting down, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Rock Island and Scott County Health Departments and Rock Island and Scott County Emergency Management asked in a press release for businesses and organizations to consider donating extra gloves, masks, eye protection or gowns they are not using “to assist health care providers and health care facilities responding to COVID-19.”
“Any organizations that have extra personal protective equipment supplies and are not needing them immediately are encouraged to donate them to help protect those responding to the disease,” the press release said.
To donate, contact Bill Horrell with the Salvation Army at 563-242-4808.
The coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to three days, but the Rock Island County Health Department said local organizations can decide if they want to accept and sanitize donations of hoarded products.
For individuals who stocked up on supplies either hoping to sell products or because they were preparing for months of quarantine, here’s a list of organizations who are accepting high demand items:
Christian Care Center
Located at 2209 3rd Ave, Rock Island the homeless shelter said they are still taking donations especially hand sanitizer and toilet paper. “Folks there are succepitble to health things all across the year so we are taking precautions,” a spokeswoman said.
Masks and thermometers are a huge priority for the social service organization.
“We are not shut down and we are obviously in need of any of those things,” Micaela Kowbel a spokeswoman for Family Resources said. ” Our shelter has so many people coming in and out of there every day. We are doing the best we can and our services are still available for survivors and for mental health.”
Family Resources is also requesting air mattresses in case staff are required to quarantine with foster group children.
River Bend Foodbank
The River Bend Foodbank has closed its pantries at the NorthPark and SouthPark Malls to foot traffic. The organization is always taking donations, but read more below to find out more.
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