Originally Posted by gdl203
There's a difference IMO. You have hundreds of people volunteering and giving away food, batteries, supplies to help others in a tragic moment like this. And then, you have those who will exploit the bad fortune of others to make an extra buck.
If prices stay low at a time when it is known that supplies are going to dwindle, the first consumer to reach the store/gas station will horde, and thus fewer consumers will be served. If gas stays $4/gallon, the station will run out quickly because each purchaser will fill their tank. If gas goes to $15 a gallon, the consumer will think "hmmm I only need a few gallons now - by the time I run out the crisis will be over and prices will return to normal."
Also in a weather crisis situation the vendor may shut down if he determines the risk he is taking is not worth selling at regular prices. And thus supply tightens even more.
Price Gouging Saves Lives in a Hurricane