Police in the northwestern US state of Oregon have urged citizens worried about the coronavirus pandemic not to call 911 if they run out of toilet paper.
The novel coronavirus has prompted panic buying across much of the US, and overseas, with items including hand sanitiser, mineral water and toilet paper frequently disappearing from supermarket shelves.
"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," wrote the Newport, Oregon police department on Facebook. "You will survive without our assistance."
The light-hearted post did not specify how many calls police had received via the emergency number over toilet paper, but did suggest a number of alternatives -- including using department store catalog pages, sponges and even corn cobs.
"Be resourceful. Be patient. There is a TP shortage. This too shall pass," the post concluded. "Just don't call 9-1-1. We cannot bring you toilet paper."