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12/24/2015 Sebring, Fla. — RYAN PELHAM/STAFF Teen columnist Annsley Bohlman

Only half way through the hurricane season and I have been reflecting on the best ways to handle this stressful season. The past week or so has been filled with panic and tension felt by all of us, which has led to fighting for resources and stocking up as much as humanly possible.

As I took my time to fill my tank with gas, and stock up on food and water, I was taken aback by the panic around me. The high energy of people scrambling, searching through the empty shelves for items missing from their lists. Store employees racing around shouting “We have bread!” and “We just got water!” causing a major shift in the masses. It made me worried and uncomfortable.

Furthermore, the amount of stocking up people feel the need to do can sometimes seem excessive. After all, we are Floridians. We have hurricane season every year, so there’s no need to be surprised when the reality of a possible hurricane comes about. We should all really have our own emergency supply kept for cases like this at all times.

Obviously we all need to be prepared, and if you’re preparing for a large group this means stocking up on more supplies. However, we’re all living in this same community together, and this means that resources need to be shared so that the few who couldn’t be there when the gas truck pulled in aren’t left without. It can be hard to think about others in times of extreme stress like what comes when a natural disaster strikes, but it is essential to the well being of the community as a whole.

This is a small, close-knit community in which we all cross paths with each other, at least at some point. This means we all need to try and look out for each other during trying times such as this. It is better to work with those around you, to help your neighbor and friends as you would want them to help you. This ensures that we are all able to survive, and no one person is left to fend for themselves when such circumstances really aren’t even necessary.

The alternative is that we all take the selfish route and focus only on our own needs. Buy as much water and gas as we can, even if it might not even be used. Take what you can before anyone else does, to make sure you have more than enough even if others are going without. This kind of mentality is not conducive to survival during these natural disasters, and could even lead to more issues than what we are all already facing.

Every year we face the potentially dangerous and harmful months of hurricane season. This is the price we pay for living on a peninsula. It is also something we should all be prepared for. The best thing to do in these times is ban together to accomplish as much as possible for the greater good.

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