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Police department asks people not to call 911 if they run out of toilet paper

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Posted at 4:12 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 18:12:38-04

NEWPORT, Ore. – By now, many are aware that toilet paper has become hard to come by as Americans stockpile it while they prepare to distance themselves from others because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the hysteria has gotten so bad that authorities in Oregon are asking residents not call 911 when they’ve run out of their TP.

“It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this,” wrote the Newport Police Department on Facebook. “Do not call 911 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance.”

In a long post, the department went on to list many other options for those who run out of the precious resource – some practical, some not some much.

“In fact, history offers many other options for you in your time of need if you cannot find a roll of your favorite soft, ultra-plush two-ply citrus scented tissue,” the post says. “Seamen used old rope and anchor lines soaked in saltwater. Ancient Romans used a sea sponge on a stick, also soaked in saltwater. We are a coastal town. We have an abundance of saltwater available. Seashells were also used.”

In a more practical suggestion, police said to start saving catalogs you get in the mail that you usually toss into the recycling bin.

“Be resourceful. Be patient. There is a TP shortage. This too shall pass. Just don’t call 911. We cannot bring you toilet paper,” the department said.

After their original Facebook post went viral, the department later clarified that they hadn’t actually received 911 calls about being out of toilet paper.

“This is being pro-active and preventative, because we know from experience over the years that people tend to call 911 with the weirdest request,” wrote the department. “It’s just a matter of time before the TP shortage was one of those weird calls.”