When there's a snowstorm in Central New York, bread and water fly off store shelves. As coronavirus spreads, toilet paper is the hot commodity - but how much do you really need?

The CDC is suggesting that people at increased risk of getting a severe case of COVID-19 "stock up" on supplies, so they "have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time."

Somehow, that's translated to shelves being emptied of toilet paper at stores across Central New York - and frankly, other parts of the country as well.

How much toilet paper do we actually need?

In order to answer that question, we need to know how much toilet paper the average person uses. After some exhaustive research - we found two pretty analytical examinations of the question, HERE and HERE, and their results agree: we use a little less than one roll a week. That's a "normal" roll of toilet paper - not one of those double rolls you can buy.

So a twelve pack is going to last three months - for one person. A family of four will need about 16 rolls for a month. 

Hopefully, this makes you feel a little better about NOT needed to stock pile toilet paper - and if you currently have 96 rolls of toilet paper in your pantry - maybe think about sharing.