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Here's an interesting news article I've found:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/storie...ME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-08-29-19-31-10

In Hurricane Irene's wake, buyer's remorse

NEW YORK (AP) -- People along the East Coast gave thanks when the storm passed by Sunday and inflicted relatively little harm. But by Monday morning, they were complaining.

Some were annoyed that they'd braved long lines to buy batteries and canned goods that they didn't end up needing. Others were in stores demanding refunds on the extra flashlights, tarps and even junk food they'd snapped up. Many were planning to host post-hurricane parties to get rid of all the extra food they bought, or were preparing to sell their unwanted stuff on eBay.

Hurricane Irene, which barreled through the Carolinas and the Eastern Seaboard, has exposed the new thriftiness Americans have adopted during the economic downturn. In previous years, people might have just stuffed the extra emergency supplies into their cupboards. But stagnant wages, high unemployment and a volatile stock market have turned spenders into penny pinchers. And many people are having buyer's remorse.

David McDuff stood in the returns line at a Home Depot in Falls Church, Va., on Monday, waiting to get his money back for the $500 gas-powered generator he'd bought in case he lost power over the weekend.

In years past, McDuff said, he might have been tempted to keep the generator. But now? "I just feel like I don't need it," said McDuff, 55, a contractor. "I'll buy it again if the need arises."

So far, Hurricane Irene gave an unexpected windfall to home-improvement chains and grocers and a blow to department and clothing stores. Stores aren't eager to give back those sales, but they also don't want to alienate their shoppers by being difficult to deal with.

At a Home Depot in Brooklyn on Monday, a handwritten sign warned there would be "NO Returns" on sump pumps, opened batteries or flashlights. Both Home Depot and rival Lowe's say on their websites that customers can return most items within 90 days of purchase. But Karen Cobb, a spokeswoman for Lowe's, said the store hadn't seen a rash of returns Monday.

"There are people who still don't have power," Cobb said, "and we also know that hurricane season is not over yet, and customers in the Northeast know full and well that there are snowstorms coming."

Emergency-preparedness professionals agree that people should hold onto their supplies for future need. "At the next storm, rather than trying to beat the crush of people running out to get those things, you can sit back and be safe and comfortable with your family, knowing you already have those things on hand," said Heather Paul, a spokeswoman for State Farm Insurance.

But some people just don't see the need in keeping things they don't plan to use right away.

Alexis Beene of Harlem is wondering what to do with the $150 worth of food and other items she bought to prepare for her "Hurricane Slumber Party" on Saturday night. She wanted her 12 guests to be prepared for every scenario, so she bought peanut butter, four big bottles of wine, a 24-pack of 1-liter water bottles, a 36-variety pack of crackers and 48 double-A batteries. Irene -- and the party -- has come and gone. But most of the items are still taking up space in Beene's home.

"I guess we'll be eating a lot of snacks and wine every day," said Beene, a 28-year-old research analyst.

Beene thinks most of her purchases were prudent, though she acknowledges the batteries may have been a stretch since she doesn't "even have anything that's battery-operated" besides one flashlight. She also bought at least a dozen candles so her two-story unit would be well-lit if the electricity went out. She now says she has no use for them, so she resorted to a little begging.

"I was trying to give them away," she said. "I was telling everyone, `Before you leave, please take a candle.'"

Toyya Meyers was glad she'd stocked up on bottled water, but she was annoyed that she had such a hard time finding batteries during Friday's mad shopping scramble. She ended up paying $3 each for "D" batteries for an electric lantern, which she didn't need because her electricity never went out.

"I spent $20 or $30 on batteries - I could have spent that on shoes or a bag," joked Meyers, 34, who works in human resources for a Manhattan law firm. "Maybe I'll sell them on eBay."

While some people tried to figure out what to do with all the extra stuff, many people were focused more on what they did not want to do with it. Some joked that Irene was just a conspiracy to boost grocery store sales. They lamented the detrimental effects that buying so many snacks would have on their waist lines.

Brenda Cooper went an extra step and returned her food pre-emptively. Cooper, 51, a secretary, took a shopping bag filled with canned nuts, chocolates and cookies into a Duane Reade in Manhattan on Saturday, before Irene hit. She had purchased them the day before.

"I'm afraid," she said, "I'm going to overeat."

Carol Schneider, spokeswoman for the Food Bank for New York City, was pleasantly surprised by a posting on the New York blog Gothamist urging people to donate their "surplus `freak out food'" to the bank.

Schneider said the Food Bank, which supplies soup kitchens and other charities throughout the city, would take whatever people had left over, even if it was just a couple of cans of tuna fish or boxes of cereal. As of Monday evening, the Food Bank had seen no Irene-induced surge of donations, but Schneider was hopeful they would come after people sorted out more immediate problems like flooded basements.

"Whatever is extra and they're not going to use - everything helps," she said. "Especially in times like these."


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Sheeple at their finest! This just boggles the mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If I were some of these chains like Lowes and others I would tag certain items as emergency equipment and none returnable. :rofl:
Good idea, but just what can we define as emergency equipment? A gas generator could be seen as such, but what about hunters and campers who like to have power out at the lodge? That would upset a lot of people if their new genny quits and they can't come back for a refund/exchange. A lot of other stuff falls under the umbrella of basic tools and camping equipment.

"Sheeple at their finest! This just boggles the mind."

Yeah, if they stocked up on bandages and first aid gear before a battle they would complain if they never got shot!

No, on second thought this type would NEVER fight......they would just run away.
You're absolutely right. It's why we call them sheep - they may bleet angrily when threatened or annoyed, but once the pressure is on they scatter to the winds.
 

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If I were some of these chains like Lowes and others I would tag certain items as emergency equipment and none returnable. :rofl:
Or better yet have a range of equipment that can be rented out by the day/week. Keep an extra stock of it in containers and ship those to stores that look like they will be able to rent it out. This would be bigger equipment of course. Generators, portable heaters/air conditioners, portable fridges/freezers.
 

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V
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It's scarey it doesn't dawn on them the threat came once.............. it can come a second time etc.

Just prior to Y2K the street over from me almost everyhouse had a caravan on the drive by November, come the end of January there was less than 10 today there's just one campervan.
 

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crustulum latro
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Good idea, but just what can we define as emergency equipment? A gas generator could be seen as such, but what about hunters and campers who like to have power out at the lodge? That would upset a lot of people if their new genny quits and they can't come back for a refund/exchange. A lot of other stuff falls under the umbrella of basic tools and camping equipment.



You're absolutely right. It's why we call them sheep - they may bleet angrily when threatened or annoyed, but once the pressure is on they scatter to the winds.
Right on both counts. I especially like how you describe the sheeple.
 

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crustulum latro
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No it would not be to harsh. Those are the same people that will color you a freak, crazy, moron, etc when there is no storm, that would curse you during a storm, and demand you give them what you had the sense to prepare for after the SHTF.

SCREW EM. Let them eat their shoes, bags, and new ipad.

Would it be to harsh of me to say that those people deserve whatever happens to them post-SHTF? :headshake:

Especially the quote "I spent $20 or $30 on batteries - I could have spent that on shoes or a bag," I personally want to go b1tch-slap her for that comment.
 

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Bread Baker
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Some intelligence at least, and well stated:
Emergency-preparedness professionals agree that people should hold onto their supplies for future need. "At the next storm, rather than trying to beat the crush of people running out to get those things, you can sit back and be safe and comfortable with your family, knowing you already have those things on hand," said Heather Paul, a spokeswoman for State Farm Insurance.
This one gets the stupid award I think:
...so she bought peanut butter, four big bottles of wine, a 24-pack of 1-liter water bottles, a 36-variety pack of crackers and 48 double-A batteries.
Ahh.. so lets get drunk, snack on some crackers and HOPE to survive.
 

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Funny article :) also funny the lady had 24 bottles of water for 12 people - lol.

Also love they had an "emergency preparedness professional" haha.

Yeah it's crazy people would see this as money lost. Put it in your closet and it lasts forever.
 

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Got to keep on keepin on
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Some were annoyed that they'd braved long lines to buy batteries and canned goods that they didn't end up needing.

David McDuff stood in the returns line at a Home Depot in Falls Church, Va., on Monday, waiting to get his money back for the $500 gas-powered generator he'd bought in case he lost power over the weekend.

In years past, McDuff said, he might have been tempted to keep the generator. But now? "I just feel like I don't need it," said McDuff, 55, a contractor. "I'll buy it again if the need arises."


Sheeple at their finest! This just boggles the mind.
So the guy admits he'll likely need one in the future, but would just buy another.
:wow:
Anyone care to take bets that he'll be one of the first in a FEMA line demanding gooberment help because they didn't protect him from himself? :headshake:
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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So the guy admits he'll likely need one in the future, but would just buy another.
:wow:
Anyone care to take bets that he'll be one of the first in a FEMA line demanding gooberment help because they didn't protect him from himself? :headshake:
And what's more, he's assuming there will be one there for him to buy next time. He hopes. Actually, he's not even thinking that far ahead.

Of course, with all the returns, all this does for places like Home Depot is send the signal that they should stock less so that they don't have as many returns next time.
 

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Patient Zero of WWZ
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If I were some of these chains like Lowes and others I would tag certain items as emergency equipment and none returnable. :rofl:
They did that in Alexandria LA just before Gustav came through.

Signs on all the generators. Signs at all the registers, "No refunds on Generators." Plus a list of common disaster items including those pre-made BOBs they sell.
 
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