On "Good Morning America" Wednesday, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate advised residents along the East Coast, and particularly those people visiting from out of town, to have a disaster plan in place and heed evacuation orders.
"You need to make sure you know where to go when you need to go," he said.
With Earl approaching so close to the coastline, nearly the entire East Coast is threatened.
Delta began cancelling flights today, and the storm was expected to force further delays and cancelations for airlines along the coast. Most of the major airlines are waiving fees so passengers at potentially impacted airports can rebook their flights for a later date. Thus far, refunds only are available if a flight has been canceled.
Links to specific airlines for more information can be found below.
ABC's Michael S. James, Gerard McNiff, Steve Osunsami, Bradley Blackburn and Lee Ferran contributed to this report.
Residents can monitor the hurricane's location on the National Hurricane Center's website.
Information on cancellations and refunds for airlines follows:
Delta American United Continental US Airways Southwest
JetBlue AirTran Virgin America Spirit