CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As with any big storm, emergency responders are urging Carolinians to be prepared.

“Have food, water, medicine, that sort of thing,” said York Emergency Management Director Chuck Haynes.

In anticipation of fuel shortages and power outages, GasBuddy has activated gas tracker at, an availability tracker to help motorists navigate through the chaos.

Six CMS Friday night football games have been canceled (Click here for the full list).

But the focus remains on the coast.

A swift water rescue team of 34 firefighters from Greensboro is preparing to deploy to parts of North and South Carolina.

This as thousands of residents move west, away from the storm, evacuating their homes, flooding into Charlotte area hotels.

The American Red Cross of the Carolinas is opening up to 70 shelters for those who can't afford or can't find an available room.

And animal shelters are filling up as well.

Volunteers have rescued dozens of animals from the coast whose owners were forced to get out fast.

“We get a huge influx of injured or displaced animals. After the storm actually hits we'll go down again and start doing disaster relief,” Carolina Waterfowl Rescue Director Jennifer Gordon said.