Mercury stations direct at 6:01 p.m. EDT. Whew!
With Mercury stationary -- i.e., just having turned retrograde or direct, and therefore remaining in the same degree for a few days until it gains momentum one way or the other -- this is an ideal time to focus your mind. Meditate. Get a mantra. Reflect. Write a long letter or have an in-depth conversation. Be prepared to go over recent ground. Ponder your local environment. Do your homework, and put your house in order. Think, but try not to overthink; take precautions, but try not to let your care turn to anxiety or worry.
The Moon-Uranus trine at 6:31 p.m. EDT, right after Mercury turns direct, should encourage flashes of insight and harmonious interaction with female friends.
Regarding Hurricane Irene, if you happen to live along the Eastern Seaboard and must evacuate, Mercury direct will make it a little easier than if this had happened just a few days ago. (Just trying to put a positive spin on grim forecasts.) I recommend that during the Dark of the Moon period, which lasts all weekend but is especially pronounced on Sunday, you should lay in provisions for yourself even if you live nowhere near the hurricane's anticipated path. This is because the Dark of the Moon in Virgo is not the best of times to go out and socialize regardless of the weather; you may be low on energy and self-esteem, and more apt to want to engage in highly detailed work instead of play.
Update: The extreme worry and precautions being urged in my neck of the woods is a perfect read of Mercury stationing direct with Sun and Venus in Virgo. When the Moon enters Virgo on Sunday morning, I expect more of the same -- plus work to undo any actual natural damage that has occurred.