Panic Buying in Christchurch

Panic Buying in Christchurch

As Christchurch prepares for yet another icy blast – one that is supposed to be colder and last longer than the snow that we had back in July (more pics on the photos page) – many people are heading to supermarkets and corner stores to stock up on food supplies. Perhaps not such as bad idea seeing as Civil Defence are warning that people have have to stay indoors for up to 3 days.

This morning I went down to East Gate mall in Linwood to check out their supplies. Milk was getting pretty low although there was still a fair amount left on other shelves. A friend on Twitter also told me that Pak’n’Save Wainoni appeared to have plenty of milk but not a great deal of bread.

Supermarket Milk Supplies

Bread is another item that always gets cleaned out pretty quickly when these events happen, although there were two towers of stacks of bread that had just come in the door and a staff member told me they were unloading a large delivery from a truck that morning.

Supermarket Bread Supplies

We’ve seen a number of panic buying situations since the September earthquake almost a year ago. In fact, at the time of the February quake when my wife and I made the decision to get out of the city for a few days, we saw panic buying as far south as Timaru.

I remember standing in a queue, waiting to pay for some essentials which I intended to bring back up to Christchurch and pass around to friend’s and family and a lady in front of me had a shopping trolley half full of loaves of bread and said to her friend “We better stock up before those Christchurch people come down and take all our food”. Thanks for being so understanding!

Stock up on Firewood

Christchurch FirewoodBack to the snow and heaps of people have been stocking up on firewood. Those people that chose a log burner instead of a heat pump will be pretty happy with themselves right now as, despite the convenience of a heat pump, you can’t turn a heat pump on when there’s no power supply!

City Firewood were fantastic in giving out a heap of vouchers recently so that people affected by the quake could pick up free firewood. They’re a great choice and the wood from there is very dry and burns well, and they also have free trailer hire or free delivery for loads over 6 cubic metres. You can get 1.5 cubic metres of kiln dried pine for $112.50.

There’s a place in Bromley called Pearsons Landscape Supplies. They have a pricelist you can check out on that page and also have free trailer hire but also free delivery for loads over 3 cubic metres. Although it appears that they’re out of stock at time of writing and it’s possible that their wood isn’t kiln dried like the wood at City Firewood. That could be one reason they’re a bit cheaper than City Firewood, with 1.5 cubic metres┬ácosting $97.50.

Other Essentials

Other items that get picked up pretty quickly are items you’ll get from a camping or outdoor store. This type of thing includes camping stoves and gas bottles. Not so much for a snow storm but when the earthquake hit, it suddenly became very difficult to find hand sanitiser – an essential item when you have no water supply and are using chemical toilets.

Preparing for the future, I put together an earthquake survival kit and tips blog post back on 8th September 2010. A lot of the stuff on this list could come in handy at others times that you’re stuck at home, like following a snow storm.

Stay warm!

P.S. Sorry the photos on this page are low quality. The Vodafone 845 Android phone is a good phone for the price but the camera is pretty average.

  • How is it panic if you know that severe weather means you may not be able to leave your house? It sounds extremely sensible to me. The rush to buy up food supplies on New Years Eve 1999 was panic buying – this is simple awareness and preparation.

  • Note: It’s been pointed out by a fellow Christchurch resident that this isn’t exactly panic buying.

    It’s true, no one tried to knock me over on the way to the bread shelf and I can count the number of old women that tried to knife me for a pint of milk on one hand, but the shelves were pretty bare either way :)