Us Consumers and Disaster: Observing “Panic Buying” During the Winter Storm and Hurricane Seasons

Owen Kulemeka, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
This study is examining how consumers behave when preparing for a seasonal disaster. Consumers’ pre-disaster behavior has not been extensively studied because it is often dismissed as irrational “panic buying.” Pre-disaster consumer behavior merits study because many people, faced with decreasing government aid, are preparing for disasters by purchasing. To gain insight on pre-disaster consumption, data is being collected by observing stores in areas slated for a seasonal disaster. Findings reveal that panic, hoarding, and other anti-social behaviors do not characterize pre-disaster shopping. Instead, most pre-disaster shoppers are organized and willing to assist others.
[ to cite ]:
Owen Kulemeka (2010) ,"Us Consumers and Disaster: Observing “Panic Buying” During the Winter Storm and Hurricane Seasons", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 837-838 .