If you live on or near any of the coastal areas threatened by Hurricane Irene I urge you to pack up and get out of there immediately. This appears to be a strong and very dangerous storm. If you remain you could very well be making a mistake that will result in the end of your life. Yes, you may die.
I lived a considerable part of my youth and adult life on the gulf coast. Although I lived in Houston, 50 miles inland, there were times when that didn't seem far enough when hurricanes came through.
I've been to Galveston Island several times after storms hit. What happened there was not a pretty sight. I was in Palacios after Hurricane Carla all but wiped that area off the map.
When these things approach, to be brave and decide to ride it out is in reality a decision to be foolish. Please don't do this. Get out of there!