I just have to re-publish one of my favorite comments that was posted during the storm. Many thanks to the anonymous poster for his/her confidence in us.
"I have more degrees than a thermometer in meteorology, twenty years with NOAA as a research scientist (satellites), a very healthy respect for storms like this (combined with a very humble approach to Mother Nature) and after making my best prediction the very next thing I'd do is go to the folks like Phillip because, frankly, they have the experience.
"I don't write this to minimize the risk and you certainly need to prepare for the worst, but with your years of experience AND taking the proper precautions...you guys will be fine. Ocracoke has a very long history of successfully riding out these storms. Yes, it's a dangerous storm. Yes, there will be damage. Yes, there will be flooding, but Earl is not going to bring you anything you haven't seen before.
"That being said...I'll certainly say a prayer for your safety. Ocracoke has been my "vacation home" too for almost 40 years now. No other place like it in the world.
"Good luck and see you on the other side. I'll be watching the airport webcam for as long as it holds up!"