The Coast Guard says it’s not too early to prepare for the first hurricane of the Atlantic season.

As Hurricane Irene heads north, the Coast Guard in Portsmouth said mariners should begin planning now, with the storm expected to deliver rain and winds to the Southeast by the end of the week.

The Coast Guard says boaters and others planning to be on the water should monitor Irene’s path and heed small craft advisories.

The guard also advises owners to secure their watercraft before winds and rain lash the coast.

Finally, the Coast Guard says everyone should obey evacuation orders if the storm reaches Virginia.