"This is a large storm with a lot of energy and its effects are likely to be felt along our coast and throughout eastern counties," Perdue said. "People should not be fooled by the category 1 status. Folks need to take this storm seriously and be ready."
The governor also encouraged her fellow North Carolinians to be prepared for Hurricane Sandy possibly hitting the state late Saturday or early Sunday.
"Our state's veteran emergency management team is ready for Sandy, but coastal North Carolinians need to be just as prepared. Please make sure you have extra food, water and supplies on hand in case you lose water or electrical power during and after the storm," Perdue said.
"This is not your typical hurricane that moves through the state in 12 to 24 hours," said State Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell. "Folks in eastern North Carolina will likely feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy beginning tonight and continuing through Tuesday."
Officials are also cautioning coastal residents to be prepared for storm surge of 1 to 5 feet above ground level along the Inner and Outer Banks, particularly along the lower Neuse River and Pamlico Sound. Storm surges of 1 to 3 feet above ground level are possible along the southern coast.