If you live in North Carolina or Virginia, there's a good chance you're going to feel the force of Earl later this week. Earl is presently a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 135 miles per hour and higher gusts. The storm is over 400 miles wide!
Even if the eye of the storm stays off shore, hurricane force winds (sustained winds of 70mph or higher) extend outward from the eye up to 70 miles. Tropical storm force winds (39mph or higher) extend up to 200 miles from the eye.
The current track, always subject to change by a few degrees, brings the eye fairly close to the North Carolina coast. East coast residents should expect wind, rain, storm surge, and flooding. Be prepared for power outages. Pick up potential flying objects from your yard. Keep a close eye on the forecast tracks in case anything changes.