Wary Americans stock up on supplies
From Elina Fuhrman
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Steve Damerow has just bought enough water, canned foods and toilet paper to last him 30 days, and he's a little embarrassed about it.
"But I don't think this is extreme," said Damerow, who also bought a generator. "I'm worried that I won't be prepared in case something happens."
Being prepared is something new in America, ever since the attacks on September 11.
The buying frenzy kicked into even higher gear earlier this month, when United States-led air strikes began in Afghanistan and cases of anthrax infection were confirmed in several states.
"I just think it gives people a better sense of security and makes them feel more safe to be prepared for whatever will happen next," store employee Kyana Miner said.
No one knows what to expect or when, so Americans are buying things they know will last a long time.
Also in demand are plastic sheeting, duct tape and latex gloves, which people want to help seal off a room in their house in the event of bioterrorism.
Americans across the country have become increasingly anxious and say they feel vulnerable. So vulnerable, in fact, that they don't mind spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars on antibiotics such as Cipro to treat anthrax.
"In the last week or so, Cipro prescriptions have gone up about 300 percent," pharmacist Sean Foo said. "We were doing two a day, and now we are doing 10 a day."
Customers are worried about the pharmacy's supply, Foo said, and whether they will be able to get it when they need it. But questions like that are hard to answer, so people are deciding to just buy anyway.
With warnings of possible new attacks, many Americans say they are not panicking. They just feel the need to be prepared.
"We, as Americans, take it for granted that we've been so secure all this time," Damerow said. "We live in a dream world. This world doesn't exist anymore."
10 things you need to know about anthrax
October 14, 2001
Charles Patrick Garcia: Being prepared for bioterrorism
October 10, 2001
Masks may not ensure safety in an attack
October 1, 2001
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
U.S. TOP STORIES:
|Back to the top|