Hoarding or prepared? Snowfall sends people to grocery stores to prepare

Posted at 10:26 PM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 22:26:48-05

Snow is on the way, so you know what that means: the grocery store rush is on. Many folks may make light of this, but for some people, panic sets in and they have to get food and water. According to psychologists, irrational hoarding before a big snowfall happens all the time.

"I got the bread. I got the milk, definitely got the canned goods," laughs Kenyana Frizzell. "Those are snow flurries," laughed Frizzell.

Frizzell is like a lot of folks, lined up to stock up on groceries.

"Everyone is trying to stock up before the snow hits," said Frizzell. "It definitely brings me out to stock up the cabinets, to get prepared."

News 5 wanted to know if there is more to this behavior than just being prepared. University Hospitals Psychologist Dr. Jeff Janata, explains.

"People have a tendency to want to take control of a situation that they fear, even if that fear is irrational," said Dr. Janata.

He says the fear of not having enough food or water during a snow storm is not a reality 99% of the time.

"We've experienced plenty of them," said Janata. "The big snow storm that might isolate you for days on end is just not very likely, so therefore, try to make your appraisal realistic of what the threat really is."

Dr. Janata encourages folks to be realistic in their appraisal of threats, saying the after effects of a snowstorm typically do not last long.