The U.S. Navy has ordered the Second Fleet to prepare to move ships out of the way of Hurricane Irene beginning early Thursday.
The Navy said Wednesday night that the order applies to ships in southeastern Virginia. It is home to the largest naval base in the world.
The Navy says Irene's current track shows destructive winds and a dangerous storm surge are predicted to hit the area.
It says ships that are under way can better weather such storms. It also will help protect piers from being damage.
The Navy says if the track changes, the sortie may not get under way.
Forecasters have yet to pinpoint where the hurricane will make landfall. It is currently a Category 3 storm with winds of 120 mph.