Preparing for the worst

Jim Abel shops for hurricane supplies at Home Depot on Aug. 22 in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane of the 2011 season, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Hurricane Irene, which is currently a Category 2 storm, is on track to strengthen to a Category 3 or 4 over the next several days before hitting the southeast U.S. coast this weekend. The last hurricane to strike U.S. soil was Ike in 2008, which produced $37.6 billion in damages when it made landfall in Texas, making it the third costliest hurricane to batter the country. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Preparing for Hurricane Irene

Stocking up on propane and bottled water
Janice Gainer and Peggy Dillard load a vehicle with hurricane supplies, including a case of bottled water and a propane tank, on Aug. 22 in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Irene in Florida. The last hurricane to strike Florida was Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 — just two months after New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Preparing for Hurricane Irene

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Big Snapshot: Floridians brace for Hurricane Irene
West Palm Beach residents stock up on hurricane supplies in the days leading up to Hurricane Irene's projected landfall.