Last years hurricane season was so bad, all three attempts to hold the annual American Red Cross Hurricane Preparedness Fair were washed out, by hurricanes.
"It was Arlene, Cindy, and Dennis," says Fair Coordinator Kathreen Chrisman.
But it was Katrina that taught everyone the greatest lesson about how bad, bad could be.
"We're going to be well prepared and we're not going to stay for the next one," says Mike Frontz of Gulfport. "I mean it's just not going to happen. I can't put my family in jeopardy."
Red Cross officials say more than ever residents are seeking out information on preparing for and escaping from hurricanes.
"Because of Katrina everybody wants to come out, get the literature, get prepared, get educated," says Chrisman.
Lowes Home Improvement Stores are also making early preparedness a top priority.
"If a hurricane starts brewing up anywhere in the gulf or out in the Atlantic somewhere, the command center is activated," says Lowes Manager James Laster. "They start gathering supplies and start looking to direct them towards wherever disaster's going to be."
The clowns and balloons are for the kids, but even the little ones have big questions, and they too, want to know more about being prepared.
"It's a little bit traumatic for them so they need to be aware that hey, we've got the Red Cross," says Chrisman. "We've got the Gulfport Police Department. We've got the Gulfport Fire Department. We're not stranded here."
Red Cross Officials say their best advice is evacuate early.