MIAMI (Reuters) - The entire U.S. east coast should be alert to Hurricane Irene as it approaches from the south in the next few days, although it is too early to say where it could directly impact, U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate said on Tuesday.

National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said the "best guess" forecast at the moment was that Irene, which he called a "very large storm", would approach the coast of the Carolinas on Saturday morning.

But New England could also be "in play" for a possible impact from Irene, Read added in a conference call with Fugate.

(Reporting by Miami newsroom)