FEMA uses the Waffle House to determine a hurricane's intensity

16 September, 2018, 00:55 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • A Waffle House

In order to remain open during unsafe conditions, Waffle House plans carefully - and in advance - for each storm.

In Myrtle Beach, the Waffle House location on Frontage Road posted a sign on the front door that the location would be closed.

"If we are open quickly after the storm broke, that means the community is coming back and we are getting back to that sense of normalcy", Pat Warner, director or PR at Waffle House, said in an interview on CNN on Wednesday.

Hurricane Florence may be looming ever closer, but for now, Waffle House's hash browns are mostly still sizzling and its eggs are still cracking. Serving up tasty waffles is not all the restaurant chain is known for, though.

On Tuesday, the breakfast chain posted a picture of the Waffle House Storm Center monitoring Hurricane Florence, which has been upgraded to a Category 4 and could make landfall as a Category 5. But did you know they're also ranked by something called the Waffle House Index? "Plan ahead and be safe". The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will monitor the Waffle House Index throughout Hurricane Florence, a practice the government agency follows when disasters occur to gage how bad a storm could get.

It's a real thing - and the Federal Emergency Management Agency uses it.

Waffle House said on Twitter that its "Storm Center" was monitoring Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit the coast between North Carolina and SC late Thursday or early Friday and could impact 230 of its restaurants.


Each restaurant also has a "Waffle House storm playbook" with a play-by-play of what to do should the electricity or running water go out mid-storm.

FEMA cautioned against taking the Waffle House Index too seriously, however.

Waffle House is used as an example of how quickly a business, and therefore a community, may recover from a storm.

"They are open most of the time". "The sooner restaurants, grocery and corner stores, or banks can re-open, the sooner local economies will start generating revenue again - signaling a stronger recovery for that community", the FEMA blog says. We call it red.

YELLOW: limited menu - no power or only power from a generator, or food supplies may be low. "If they're green, we're good, keep going. You haven't found the bad stuff yet", Fugate said on NPR.

Heed your local Waffle House warning and evacuate.

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