20110826 hurricaneirene
A sign saying 'Go Away Irene!' is spray painted on a boarded-up storefront in preparation for Hurricane Irene August 26, 2011 in Cape May, N.J. - 

Bob Moon: As anyone in the northeastern U.S. should be well aware by now, Hurricane Irene is headed for the region this weekend. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already ordered mandatory evacuations for the most vulnerable areas of New York City, something that's never been done before.

Sally Herships talked to area businesses about how they're preparing.

Sally Herships: Down the block from Marketplace's New York bureau is O'Neill's Irish Bar. At 2 o'clock, it was packed.

Ciaran Staunton: We're New Yorkers, they don't care. They couldn't even spell stress around here, let alone be stressed.

Ciaran Staunton owns O'Neill's. He says the kitchen is stocked with extra food. He's also arranged for cars to pick up workers over the weekend.

For some retailers, bad weather means good business. Henry Posner works for B & H Photo in Manhattan, purveyor of all things electronic.

Henry Posner: People of course want to take photographs of both the event itself, in its majestic weather-related glory. And if somebody unfortunately suffers some kind of damaged property, they want to be able to record that for insurance purposes.

Posner says in addition to flashlights and batteries, weather-proof video cameras are in his top five sellers today. Also popular are hotel rooms in Manhattan. With the New York City subway set to shut down this weekend, even the New York Stock Exchange says it's reserving rooms for employees. But some items are beyond the basics.

Sarma Melngailis: Wish we'd figured out where to get sandbags earlier.

Sarma Melngailis owns two vegetarian restaurants. One has a kitchen in the cellar. Every time it rains, it runs the risk of flooding.

Melngailis: In New York City, you can usually make a few calls and get anything delivered, but I'm not so sure about sandbags.

Melngailis is planning to run an online special this weekend. The promo code is "Storm Sale."

In New York, I'm Sally Herships for Marketplace.