Stephan Pastis points that out with tongue in cheek in yesterday's "Pearls Before Swine" comic strip. Click the image to see a larger version at its Web page.
That does seem to be a very American response to emergencies: "Let's buy things to keep us alive!". Sadly, most of us never bother to learn to use those things as they should be. We also load ourselves down with so many of them that we're immobilized. Those who are less burdened, faster on their feet, and more knowledgeable and experienced, will end up benefiting from what we've bought - because we'll be too dead to care.