How the Waffle House is used to determine a hurricane’s fury

FEMA looks to Waffle House as Hurricane Florence approaches

FEMA looks to Waffle House as Hurricane Florence approaches

When a storm is completely devastating, Waffle House will close, usually because the building has been destroyed.

The chain, whose restaurants are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is famous for staying open during many natural disasters.

Because of this, FEMA internally uses an unofficial "Waffle House Index" to track potentially risky events.

Informally, it's called the Waffle House Index, and it's a real thing. For that reason, it can be a good indicator of a storm's path of destruction when Waffle House is closed for business.

Waffle House tweeted Tuesday that its storm center was activated and monitoring Florence, but it was not clear which locations in the hurricane's path were expected to close.

"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.

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That's right: One of the South's most popular breakfast chains plays an important role in hurricane forecasting.

Waffle House holds the FEMA test as a point of pride. A customer-service assistant said that the company had not yet confirmed whether stores will close.

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. If it's yellow, that means the menu is limited to specific items.

In Myrtle Beach, the Waffle House location on Frontage Road posted a sign on the front door that the location would be closed. Check out the color-coded 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. But our job [as corporate officials] is to give them all the support they need to stay open". When a major storm is in the forecast, Waffle House vehicles-known as "jump teams" or "go teams"- are deployed from headquarters to the edge of emergency zones so they can come in as soon as the worst of the storm is over and begin necessary repairs or provide assistance.

The idea of closing a restaurant, though, is foreign to Waffle House employees.

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