Updated, Oct. 26, 1:51 p.m.
If Sandy decides to venture into New England and sling some mud around, Vernon will be ready for her.
The hurricane could hit early next week and where it will make direct landfall differs up the East Coast in different models.
As Friday morning progressed, the model pointed more and more to a direct hit to the Mid-Atlantic or New England regions. AccuWeather, in an e-mail alert sent out at 10:40 a.m., said Sandy could take on the characteristics of a massive Nor'Easter while colliding with other weather systems and a full moon:
"It will not be a purely tropical system, with a core of powerful winds near the center, but rather more like a Nor'Easter, with strong winds over a larger area.
Damaging winds will affect areas from Virginia up into New York and New England, leading to widespread power outages and property damage.
"A storm surge of 5 to 10 feet, perhaps higher in spots, near and north of where the center comes in will combine with astronomical high tide to lead to devestating coastal flooding, and heavy rain will lead to flooding over a large area around the storm. Heavy wet snow can be problem for the West Virginia mountains."
A top local official said the town always bets on the high side.
"We have to be ready for a direct hit, regardless of probability," Emergency Management Director Michael Purcaro said this week. "It's about due diligence and preparing for the worst-case scenario."
Mayor George Apel called a department head meeting for today at 9 a.m.
Meanwhile residents were bopping around all day Thursday filling their gas cans and tanks, buying provisions like food and batteries and buying generators. If the storm hits Monday, it would be exactly one year from the Oct. 2011 freak snowstorm.
Vernon Center resident Nikki Wilson drove to Cabela's in East Hartford with Daughters Alexa and Teagen for a generator. The store had a dozen left when she arrived there at about 5 p.m.
Many stores were predicting that the local generator inventory would be wiped out by Friday.
The town had all its fuel tanks topped off this week, Purcaro said.
All backup generators in town have been inspected, he said.
Vernon Center Middle School would be used as the primary shelter if people are forced from their homes, Purcaro said. It would also serve as a regional shelter. Purcaro said residents of other towns must first turn to resources there before heading to Vernon.
The shelter would be able to accommodate pets.
Bottled water and meals ready to eat will be "strategically utilized," if the need arises, Purcaro said.
The community emergency response team will be activated in the event of an emergency, Purcaro said.
Crews will be arranged in 12-hour shifts, Purcaro said.
The town's surveillance drone aircraft will be used for inspections, Purcaro said.
The Department of Public Works is making sandbags available to residents who might need them and distribution particulars will be announced today, Purcaro said.
The Ready.gov Web site provides comprehensive tops for hurricane survival, Purcaro said.
By noon, cars were lining up foir gas at area stations.
Town officials will be providing storm preparedness-related updates throughout the day.