How FEMA uses Waffle Houses in disasters

Waffle House Storm Center activates for Florence

Waffle House Storm Center activates for Florence

A yellow index means a Waffle House is open, but offering a limited menu. They also tweeted a cheeky message to the storm itself: "Kiss my grits!" We don't know what that means, honestly, and with the way this hurricane is acting - tremendously big and tremendously wet and tremendously unpredictable - it feels pretty par for the course.

Given the southern locations of most Waffle House restaurants, they are vulnerable to hurricanes, tropical storms and flooding rains.

The ⁦@WaffleHouse⁩ Storm Center is activated and monitoring #Florence.

While it may sound silly, one of the tools the Federal Emergency Management Agency informally uses to decide how bad a storm is and if it warrants evacuations is the status of Waffle House. If the store is open with a full menu, the index is green.

This tells emergency officials how the community is handling the storm.

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If a Waffle House closes, officials believe that area must have been hit hard. If a Waffle House closes, it suggests the event was bad enough to potentially have devastating effects on the economy.

Warner told CNN that Waffle House prepares for a storm's aftermath by having resources like generators, food, and staff at the ready outside (but close to) the impacted area so that it can reopen restaurants as soon as possible. At the front of the room, three screens showed storm maps and news coverage of Category 4 hurricane's path. You have not any longer came upon the deplorable stuff but."Waffle Condo spokesman Pat Warner talked about Fugate came up with the check for the length of the 2004 typhoon season in Florida". Check out the color-coded index. They're not going to let a little Biblically strong wind stop them from slinging hash browns.

For years, FEMA has relied on major companies like Waffle House to see how hurricane recovery is doing.

"The Waffle House test just doesn't tell us how quickly a business might rebound - it also tells how the larger community is faring", a FEMA blog post from 2011 states. The logic goes that the sooner a Waffle House can get back on the grid, any number of local institutions including banks, grocery stores, and post offices can start functioning again.

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