CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane season is here, and experts say now is the time to prepare.

Saturday morning, hundreds of people came out to High Point Elementary School in Clearwater to fill one of these bags with plenty of things to make sure they stay prepared this hurricane season.

“With this radio, I’ve got it set up to where I can listen to the National Weather Service,” said Pinellas County Emergency Management Technical Systems Coordinator Clayton Parrott. “That way I know if I got any storms coming in or anything like that.

Parrott showcased this command runner at the Pinellas County Hurricane Preparedness Expo Saturday, showcasing an essential tool that would be utilized if a hurricane were to hit the Tampa Bay area.

“It’s not ‘how many are we going to have this year,’ it’s ‘are we going to get that one?’,” he said.

Experts say now is the time to prepare and have a plan, one that includes your pets.

“Please don’t leave them behind,” Jennifer Renner with Pinellas County Animal Services said. “It’s important when you make a plan, to include your pets in that plan.”

Hurricanes can sometimes come with power outages which means traffic lights might not work.

That can cause some serious issues out on the road.

That’s when signal technicians like Melbourne Edwards step in.

“If signals are out, please treat it as a four-way stop,” he explained. “We will come out [and] verify what caused the signals to be out.”

“The idea is to get the signal back up in a safe manner,” Edwards continued.

The expo also showcased emergency shelter conditions, a 35-foot storm surge banner, and some free pet services.

Experts like Pinellas County Public Works Urban Forestry tree-trimmer William Redding were also on hand to give advice.

“Ask for help, and ask for advice on how to be prepared and what you should be doing to be ready,” Redding explained.

The Max Defender 8 team is here to help you get your home and family prepared as hurricane season approaches.

Read our WFLA News Channel Hurricane-Ready Guide 2023 below:

If you live in Pinellas County, this hurricane guide is specifically designed for you from Pinellas County Emergency Management.