States Prep for Irene, Obama Urges Precaution

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Irene is cutting President Barack Obama's vacation in Martha's Vineyard short. Friday, he warned Americans who live in the storm's path to prepare now.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency started pre-positioning staff and supplies along the East Coast last weekend.

"FEMA has millions of liters of water, millions of meals, and tens of thousands of cots, blankets and supplies pre-positioned along the eastern seaboard, and the American Red Cross has already begun preparing shelters in North Carolina and other states," Obama assured.

CBN News Sr. Reporter George Thomas spoke via Skype from Kitty Hawk, N.C., on the conditions there in the Outer Banks. Watch for his report.

"These resources are all being coordinated with our state and local partners, and they stand ready to be deployed as necessary," he added.

Up north, residents are beginning to evacuate hurricane zones. Several city officials are already beginning to implement their emergency plans in advance.

In New York, hospitals and nursing homes in low lying areas are evacuating patients.  Irene is the first hurricane to head New York's way in decades.

"For the general public, it's a good idea to move Friday," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "Keep in mind, it is possible -- I don't know that I want to say likely -- but it is very conceivable that Saturday morning at 8 o'clock, we're going to say, `Look, the forecast has not changed. The storm is still barreling down on us. It's still very dangerous. You must get out of these areas.'"

Officials in New Jersey have started issuing mandatory evacuations. Nearly all of the southern half of the state is under a hurricane warning.

Atlantic City casinos are closing down, only the third time in 33 years that all of the cities gambling halls will be closed.

CBN's Operation Blessing is preparing for a major relief effort. Teams are staging in the Hampton Roads area in southeastern Virginia.

Operation Blessing will have heavy clean-up equipment, mobile kitchens capable of making 2,500 meals a day, and several volunteers and staff ready to step in if needed.

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