Time to get ready now for Irene

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -- It's hard to believe on a beautiful day like today that it is time to prepare for any potential impact Irene may have on Central Virginia. But, now is the time to do it. In fact, workers at Pleasants Hardware on Broad Street are doing just that.

Hurricane Irene continues to churn and she's possibly on a collision course with the East Coast of the United States.

"I've been watching the forecast myself," says Charles Dabney. He works at Pleasants Hardware. Not only is he watching the forecast, but he's also preparing his store, for a potential big rush of people later this week. "Putting things out, just in case there's an emergency."

NBC12 Meteorologist Andrew Freiden said that today is the day to get prepared. "If you look up on Friday and something is going to be coming right at us, it is going to be too late," he said.

He said to start talking to your family about a disaster plan. "What would happen if the roads washed out and we all can't make it home? Where would we meet? If phone service wasn't working, how do we get in contact with each other? Pick a school or safe building or someone's home nearby to meet up with the family."

Here's something you'll likely want to avoid: having to deal with old trees that come crashing down in the storm. You can get ready for that when it's beautiful outside.

"If I live in an apartment, I'd walk around the outside of the apartment. If I lived in a home, I'd walk around and say is there any dead limbs that could damage my home," adds Freiden.

Also, remember, even if Irene slides on by, the hurricane season is only starting to ramp up.

"If you do preps now, and you get your family in order, it is not like you are going to be wasting your time. If Irene doesn't come our way, we'll have other chances come September and October," adds Freiden.

Charles Dabney says depending on the track Irene takes later this week, the store hours at Pleasants may be extended.

Also, do not forget to clean out your gutters and get food, along with other non-perishable foods to last you this weekend, should Irene come our way.

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