The Newport Oregon Police Department is reminding residents that 9-1-1 is for emergencies only and was not a delivery service for anyone who might've run out of toilet paper.
In a now-viral post to its Facebook page on Saturday, the department wrote that it was "hard to believe that we even have to post this."
"Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance," the Newport Oregon Police Department said in a Facebook post.
And then, with a bit of a tongue-in-cheek history lesson, the department gave residents some advice on how they could get creative and survive a toilet paper shortage at home while they're quarantined
"Seamen used old rope and anchor lines soaked in salt water," the department wrote. "Ancient Romans used a sea sponge on a stick, also soaked in salt water. We are a coastal town. We have an abundance of salt water available. Sea shells were also used."
It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You...
Posted by Newport Oregon Police Department on Saturday, March 14, 2020
"Mayans used corn cobs. Colonial Americans also used the core of the cob," the department added. "Farmers not only used corn cobs, but used pages from the Farmers Almanac. Many Americans took advantage of the numerous pages torn from free catalogs such as Sears and Roebuck. The Sears Christmas catalog, four times thicker than the normal catalog, could get a family of three wiped clean from December through Valentine’s Day; or Saint Patrick’s Day if they were frugal."
The department also added other alternatives people could use at home as an alternative, including grocery receipts (those trips to CVS finally paid off!, newspapers, cloth rags, cotton balls (?) and even the empty toilet paper roll.
After their post went viral over the weekend, the department posted a follow-up on Monday, saying no one had actually called 9-1-1 about a lack of toilet paper, and that they'd posted on Facebook as a way to prevent bogus 9-1-1 calls.
“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. It’s just a matter of time before the TP shortage was one of those weird calls," the department wrote on Monday.
They also urged people to use common sense.
"We did not suggest that anyone using alternative options flush any of it," the department wrote. "We assumed that adults have already been educated on what they may and may not flush."