Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for North Carolina in a Friday news briefing as Hurricane Isaias is set to approach the state.
The hurricane could reach North Carolina's coast by Monday, Cooper said, and make its greatest impact Monday night.
He said the state Emergency Operations Center, which has already been activated for COVID-19, has been activated for Hurricane Isaias as well.
Cooper said the state will coordinate shelters for those who need to evacuate and cannot find other arrangements.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, he said shelters should be a last resort, and people should try to stay with family and friends or at hotels. Those who need a shelter will be screened for symptoms and provided masks, and those with symptoms will be given a sheltering option where it is easier to isolate.
Orange County residents should prepare for potential impact by removing and securing loose vegetative debris, trash cans, outdoor furniture and other yard items, according to a statement from the Town of Carrboro.
Residents are also recommended to pack an emergency kit with supplies such as water and non-perishable food, charge cell phones and fill up gas tanks, the Town of Chapel Hill said in an emergency update.
Those who live in low-lying areas should prepare their homes with sandbags for flooding and plywood for flying debris. More information about flood plains in Orange County can be found here.
"With the right protection and sheltering, we can keep people safe from the storm while at the same time trying to avoid making the pandemic worse," Cooper said. "A hurricane during a pandemic is double trouble. But the state has been carefully preparing for this scenario."