WILMINGTON, NEW HANOVER COUNTY -

Gov. Pat McCrory is urging residents and visitors to "not put your stupid hat on" as North Carolina prepares for Tropical Storm Arthur, which is forecast to become a hurricane as it approaches the state.

At a news conference Wednesday in Wilmington, McCrory reminded people that most injuries and deaths occur before and after a storm. He urged people to not act selfishly, saying that if they put themselves in harm's way, they also endanger emergency workers who must try to rescue them.

McCrory said he has declared a state of emergency for 25 coastal and adjoining counties.

Hyde County announced a voluntary evacuation for Ocracoke Island, which is accessible only by ferry. The evacuation took effect at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Ferry toll fees are suspended for evacuating visitors.