Following a similar move by Governor Chris Christie, Monmouth County’s Freeholders declared a state of emergency Thursday night in anticipation of Hurricane Irene‘s arrival here this weekend.

The declaration “will allow the Office of Emergency Management to mobilize all county resources and direct them where they are needed to protect life and property,” according to an announcement from the county press office.

“These actions include ordering mandatory evacuations and controlling traffic on all roadways.”

The county has established a shelter at Holmdel High School, 36 CrawfordÂ’s Corner Road. It’s expected to open at 5 p.m. Friday.

Another shelter has been set up at Wall High School, 1630 18th Avenue, Wall Township.

Pets are not permitted at either location.