Hurricane Irene was already beginning to batter the North Carolina coast on Friday morning and a threat level of "EXTREME" is in place for the entire East Coast of the United States.
Unusually warm ocean water temperatures as far north as New Jersey are expected to add fuel to the storm eve as landfall tries to slow it down. Most projected path models show the storm has potential to impact most of the heavily populated East Coast cities.
Despite expected large-scale evacuations as far north as New England, millions of people will still be in their homes when the storm arrives, and government officials are urging them to be prepared to keep themselves safe and protected for 72 hours or more after the storm passes, with many areas expected to flood and to be without power for days or weeks.
Consumers have been flocking to stores to get their hands on equipment that will help them ride out the storm and clean up later.
Home improvement retailer Lowe's has made a Hurricane Preparedness checklist available to consumers and is moving hurricane preparedness and clean-up goods to the front of its stores, including:
• emergency radios
• charcoal grills for cooking while gas an electricity are out
• wet vacs
• fans and dehumidifiers
• chain saws
Home Depot offers a suggested Emergency Item Checklist, including:
• carbon monoxide detectors
• portable air-conditioners
• portable fans
CVS/pharmacy stores in affected areas have been working to fill prescriptions in advance of the hurricane and stock stores with extra medical supplies, bottles water, and generators to help keep stores open when power is lost.
Walgreens pharmacy is offering customers medical preparedness advice, such as how to store prescription medicines in emergency conditions.
to Daily News