Your Inauguration Day Survival Guide

Consumers should stock up on certain necessities -- including adult diapers.


For native Washingtonians and visitors alike, Inauguration Day is likely to be crowded, hectic, and short on key supplies. With as many as 2 million people expected to descend on the capital, there will probably be long lines at ATMs, runs on beer, and shortages of useful items such as adult diapers, which some viewers plan to wear given the limited bathroom facilities.

That means consumers should stock up just as they would before a big tornado. Here are 6 things you should have in hand before Jan. 20:

  • Gas. While private vehicle use will be restricted on Inauguration Day itself, bus fleets, limos, and private cars will be shipping large numbers of people into the city and surrounding area in the days leading up to Jan. 20. That could mean long lines at gas stations for anyone who needs to fill up.
    • Cash. Even on a normal Friday night, popular destinations such as Washington, DC's Dupont Circle can attract long lines for ATM machines. To avoid the crowds, make sure you have the money you need in advance.
      • Beer. As young people settle onto their friends' futons for the festivities, they'll likely be buying beer and other types of alcohol, which could create local shortages. To make sure you have the libations you need for Inauguration night, buy them ahead of time.
        • Food and water. Some people are predicting pandemonium in a city that's not used to so many visitors. With that in mind, you may want to stock up on water and canned goods.
          • Toilet paper. Washingtonians aren't used to hosting so many house guests at once. Toiletries will be in high demand.
            • Adult diapers. It sounds unappealing, but Inauguration Day planners have warned of inadequate bathroom access. Those with tickets to the event are likely to be standing in place for three hours or longer. That means anyone who prefers to visit the loo on a regular basis will need an alternate means of relieving themselves -- while standing in place.