Published: Aug 31, 2010 5:31 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 31, 2010 2:31 PM EDT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Federal officials say evacuations may be required in the U.S. if Hurricane Earl tracks too close to the East Coast.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate said Tuesday that people along the eastern seaboard should be prepared in case evacuations are necessary later this week.

Officials will be closely monitoring the movement of the Category 4 storm to determine which parts of the coast will face the greatest impact. It's too early to tell right now what those might be.

Earl is forecast to potentially brush North Carolina late Thursday before running parallel to land up the East Coast on Friday and Saturday.

FEMA already has teams deployed in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and North Carolina. It has advance teams prepared to work with other states up the coast.