(NECN: Steve Aveson, Wellfleet, Mass.) - Forecasters are keeping a close watch on Hurricane Earl as the Category 4 storm continues to swirl in the Atlantic.
Earl pounded several small Caribbean islands with strong winds and heavy rains this week. It tore roofs off homes and cut electricity to some.
Many flights have been canceled.
So, how are Cape Cod residents preparing for the storm's arrival?
Coast Guard tips for swimmers on how to avoid and survive rip currents:
Never swim alone.
Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don't go out!
Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard-protected beach.
If caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
Don't fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim toward shore or a boat.
If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim toward shore or a boat.
If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by facing the shore or boat, waving your arms, and yelling for help.
If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 911. Throw the rip current victim something that floats and yell instructions on how to escape. Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.