When there’s a disaster in certain areas of the country, people turn to an entity known for its careful preparation for times of crisis and its dependability to be the frist business in town to reopen, if it closed at all. With the imminent arrival of Hurricane Matthew, all eyes are on this key piece of our infrastructure: Waffle House.
Waffle House? Yes, the breakfast food chain is concentrated in the South, making it a useful gauge when a hriricane comes. Restaurants have a special storm menu, they keep an eye on the weather, and they have generators that will keep the restaurant going and customers fed in a crisis.
If you’re looking for a sign of how severe this oncoming storm is supposed to be, Waffle House has closed its restaurants across Florida.
The former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency even had an informal “Waffle House Index” showing that when Waffle House closes, things are serious, and the agency should come help. The system only works in the Southeast, of course, since the rest of the country is deprived of Waffle Houses, but those are areas where hurricanes and tornadoes hit, and emergency preparation is key.
“We’re a 24-hour restaurant, so oddly enough shutting down is a big deal for us,” the company’s vice president of culture told Fox News a few days ago, back when the company was planning to stick out the storm. Since then, it has decided to close in areas where the hurricane is projected to hit.
When Waffle House surrenders to a hurricane, you know it’s bad [Miami Herald]
When disaster strikes, FEMA turns to Waffle House [Marketplace]
by Laura Northrup via Consumerist