By RYAN GORMAN
As the nation awaits the decision of a grand jury reviewing the Michael Brown murder case, anxious Ferguson shopkeepers are wasting no time shoring up their businesses to protect against rioters.
Ghostly pictures are emerging from the St. Louis suburb of businesses being boarded up as if the storm of the century is about to blow through -- and it just might no matter how the grand jury handles Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
Weeks of grand jury deliberations are expected to end at any time, and the decision could spark another round of violent protests similar to those seen after Wilson fatally shot Brown following a August 9 altercation.
The white officer has admitted killing the unarmed black teenager, but claims he did so in self-defense.
Opinions are sharply divided over the shooting death, which echoes George Zimmerman fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, on a Florida street in 2012.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon activated the National Guard on Monday and also declared a state of emergency in St. Louis County.
Multiple law enforcement agencies have assumed responsibility for maintaining order and troops are on standby should police lose control of the situation.
Protesters have already voiced concern that law enforcement will aggressively crack down similar to how the St. Louis County police escalated violence back in August.
Uncertainty over what the grand jury will do, and how the throngs of protesters will react, has left business owners with only one option: Board up and hunker down.
Missouri governor declares state of emergency in Ferguson ahead of Darren Wilson grand jury decision
National Guard prepares for more Ferguson unrest
Michael Brown protesters stage 'die-in' in downtown St. Louis