GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — The first hurricane season in a new home, a new town, can be a challenge. There’s a lot to learn about staying safe ahead of tropical weather. The Hurricane Expo in Gulf Shores Thursday was there to help people prepare.

“I know they can be very, very dangerous,” can be overwhelming, said Gulf Shores newcomer Jay McTaggart. “I get that being prepared is great, having your food and water, tools, medications is very critical. But knowing when to leave is the ultimate in knowledge.”

It’s that kind of information, found by locals and newcomers alike, at the City of Gulf Shores Hurricane Expo Thursday at the Erie Myers Civic Center.

“Every year we try to educate people that we live in a storm-prone area and it’s really important that you understand what you need to do to protect your family and your property,” said city spokesman Grant Brown.

“I remember very well when Camille came through. I lived about 100 miles inland but it was still horrific.” Evans King moved to Gulf Shores just after Hurricane Sally. It’s the storm surge that concerns him most. “The water worries me more than the wind. I can kind of dodge the wind but when the water comes up and it’s full of moccasins and alligators it’s problematic.”

No matter what natural disaster you’ve experienced before, “I’m from an area where there are earthquakes,” says McTaggart. “Hurricanes are new to me so, yes, this is quite an education.”

Hurricanes are a different kind of storm that can potentially linger, cause major destruction, even death and it’s not a matter of “if” a storm will come this way again, it’s when.