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FEMA looks to Waffle House as Hurricane Florence approaches
16 September 2018, 11:11 | Austin Hogan
A closed Waffle House restaurant is seen on Sept. 13 in Myrtle Beach S.C
Waffle House has always been a popular spot for round-the-clock comfort food for locals and travelers alike throughout the South.
As the monstrosity that is Hurricane Florencemoves closer to the Carolinas, the Waffle House is becoming a member of the list of companies and companies monitoring the storm's every twist and turn.The Southern breakfast chain, which is originate 24 hours a day all year, activated a storm heart to observe the Class 2 typhoon.
As Waffle House officials monitor Hurricane Florence from the company's headquarters in Norcross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is monitoring Waffle House.
"Waffle House Index" has become a key part of storm preparedness: When a Waffle House closes in the face of an impending storm, that's when you really need to be anxious. "Plan ahead and be safe", they tweeted.
Waffle House is known for staying open as long as possible during a hurricane.
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You may be wondering why in the world is Waffle House in the disaster management business?
Waffle House holds the FEMA test as a point of pride.
Because of this, FEMA internally uses an unofficial "Waffle House Index" to track potentially unsafe events. "If they're open but have a limited menu, that's yellow", he said. 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. If there were a Waffle House in London during The Blitz that bad boy would have been taking orders for steak and eggs in between bursts of anti-aircraft fire. If you find a "closed sign" on a Waffle House, it's best to evacuate and don't forget your spouse.
FEMA even uses restaurant sales bumps as an indicator in monitoring severe weather, more specifically through the Waffle House Storm Center. In Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, an employee of a still-operating Waffle House told a reporter that during 2016's Hurricane Matthew, the location closed only after the ceiling tiles began to fall. We name it red.
As Hurricane Florence approaches, restaurants in North and SC are watching the weather to determine whether or not they will stay open. So if a Waffle House closes, that's how you know the storm is really bad, or is predicted to be that way.
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