As Hurricane Florence approaches, Waffle House activates ‘storm center’

How Waffle House can be a gauge of hurricane severity

A yellow index indicates that a location is open but serving a limited menu. "Plan ahead and be safe". 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.

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.

If the Waffle House is closed due to a storm, the index is red.

In fact, Waffle House Index is so reliable that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) looks to it when a hurricane or another natural disaster is on the way.

For their part, Waffle House is glad that they can serve as a barometer of the severity of the storm for the community. If a closed Waffle House encourages people to take shelter, bring on the Waffle House Index.

A representative for Waffle House did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

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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.

Hurricane Florence has been designated a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. "Within the occasion that they're green, we're correct, defend going". Also, if a location closes due to a hurricane, it tries to re-open as soon as possible.

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

"If we are open quickly after the storm, that means the community is coming back and folks are out, we are getting back to that sense of normalcy", Waffle House spokesperson Pat Warner told CNN.

And already, one South Carolina Waffle House has turned red on the current Waffle House Index. "The sooner intelligent areas, grocery and corner stores, or banks can re-originate, the sooner native economies will originate up producing income all all over again - signaling a sturdy restoration for that personnel."In a 2016 interview with NPR, Fugate described how FEMA applied the Waffle Condo check".

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