Hurricane Florence is strengthening and now has sustained winds of 90 miles per hour.
McMaster and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper have asked President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration.
Many newcomers have moved to the coast in the almost 19 years since the last strong hurricane - Floyd - threatened the area.
"Everyone in North Carolina needs to keep a close eye on Florence and take steps now to get ready for impacts later this week", Cooper said. "We are taking Hurricane Florence seriously".
On North Carolina's Outer Banks, the town of Nags Head posted no-swimming flags on beaches.
Dare County has a year-round population of more than 30,000 people, but the population balloons during tourist seasons. That does not many any evacuations are in place: as of now, they're not.
On this path, Florence will move over very warm Atlantic waters with favorable upper-level winds for rapid intensification.
Storm-force winds could begin buffeting the Carolina coast by Wednesday night, NHC forecasts showed.
Florence is expected to be a major hurricane by Monday. Forecasters also warned of a rising threat of life-threatening storm surge, along with the damage of a hurricanes high winds.
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Florence's effects were already being felt along the coast, with unsafe swells and rip currents in some spots.
If the high pressure weakens, it will allow Florence to turn to the northwest, skirting the coastline without making landfall.
She just moved to the area two weeks ago from Northern Virginia and still doesn't have her furniture. The core of Florence is expected to stay to the north of our area.
The National Hurricane Center is predicting Florence could be a Category Storm 4 with winds of 130 miles per hour by Tuesday, causing South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia to declare states of emergency.
McMaster said he had asked President Donald Trump to declare a federal emergency in SC in anticipation of the storm's arrival.
While this storm is not expected to have any impacts on the weather in Texas, for the Carolinas and Virginias it will likely be a significant weather event. "The best safety plan is preparation and common sense".
Besides Florence, the Atlantic Ocean's sixth named storm of 2018, two other storms, Isaac and Helene, are churning in the Atlantic basin.
Both Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Storm Helene are expected to reach hurricane strength but neither is considered a threat to Bermuda.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.