Police List Alternatives to Calling 911 for Toilet Paper

Department makes clear it won't deliver
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2020 8:00 PM CDT
Police List Alternatives to Calling 911 for Toilet Paper
Deanna Butts reaches for one of the last packages of toilet paper at Target in the Tenleytown area of Washington, DC, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

It may seem like a 911-worthy emergency if you run out, but police in an Oregon town have clarified the issue. It's not. "It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this," Newport police said on Facebook. "Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper." There's no denying that many stores are having trouble keeping toilet paper on their shelves during the coronavirus outbreak, but police have more pressing emergencies, USA Today reports. Instead of calling them for toilet paper help, Newport police asked residents to be resourceful. "Mayans used corn cobs. Colonial Americans also used the core of the cob," the post said. "Farmers not only used corn cobs, but used pages from the Farmers Almanac." The Sears catalog used to get a second use, too, police said.

But alternatives, including wet wipes and partial paper towels, aren't flushable. That mistake can cause problems in a home's plumbing as well as city sewer systems, per CBS. "Please remember, wipes clog pipes," a public works commissioner in Michigan posted on Facebook, adding that only toilet paper should be flushed down toilets. Everything else should go in the trash, a UK utility told its customers on Facebook. Improvise, be patient, be creative, Newport police pleaded. "Just don’t call 9-1-1. We cannot bring you toilet paper." (More coronavirus stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.