HPU Poll: NC Stocks Up on Bread, Water and Toilet Paper Ahead of Winter Weather

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 17, 2021 – As winter storms hit states from the Southwest to Northeast, a High Point University Poll surveyed North Carolina residents on what they stock up on when the threat of a winter storm looms.

The poll finds that almost three-quarters (72%) of North Carolinians said they make sure to buy bread before a major snowstorm hits. Smaller majorities stock up on water (69%), toilet paper (65%), extra gasoline for their car (64%), eggs (62%), milk (61%) and fruit (51%) before major snowstorms.

Fewer people said they buy beer or other alcoholic beverages (32%) before a snowstorm.

“Even if North Carolina is not getting the worst of this winter weather, there are a lot of folks stocking up just in case,” said Dr. Martin Kifer, director of the HPU Poll. “This polling shows us a bit about how North Carolinians may be planning for possible snow and ice.”

NC Residents Winter Weather (January/February 2021)

Thinking about winter weather. Which of these items, if any, do you make sure you buy before a major snowstorm hits?

  Yes No (Don’t know)
Bread 72% 25% 4%
Water 69% 29% 2%
Toilet Paper 65% 31% 3%
Extra gasoline for your car 64% 31% 5%
Eggs 62% 34% 4%
Milk 61% 35% 4%
Fruit 51% 44% 5%
Beer or other alcoholic beverages 32% 64% 4%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, n = 917 and credibility interval is +/- 3.4%)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, 2021 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 917 adults interviewed online (800 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (117 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using the SRC’s Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.2 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.1 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, and race/ethnicity based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2021/02/78memoA.pdf

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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