The Government Uses The Waffle House To Gauge How Bad Hurricanes Hit Certain Areas

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AJC - It’s called “the Waffle House Index” and it has three colors, like a stop light (green, yellow and red) − and, reportedly, it’s yet another way the Federal Emergency Management Agency tracks approaching storms and other emergencies.

Basically, according to Marketplace’s Elly Yu, because many Waffle House locations are in states vulnerable to hurricanes and other tornadoes, and because WaHo “prides itself” on being open all of the time, FEMA realized that things must be getting really bad if it acquiesces to the weather.

“[In the ‘Waffle House Index,’] Green means the restaurant is open as usual, yellow means it’s on a limited menu, and red means the restaurant’s closed,” Yu wrote.

“It just doesn’t happen where Waffle House is normally shut down,” Philip Strouse, FEMA’s private sector liaison for the Southeast, told Markeplace in 2015. “… They’re the canary in the coalmine, if you will.”

He added that the index “gives us a pretty good feel right away of what’s going on at what time.

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The Waffle House is a national treasure. It’s always there for you. Drunk at 3am and need something to eat? Waffle House. On a long road trip and you’re craving some greasy, home cooked flavors? Waffle House. A huge hurricane is about to strike and you didn’t evacuate but you still need breakfast? Waffle MF’ing House. It’s legit always open. They talk the talk and walk the walk. I don’t know how they do it. I’m convinced every Waffle House is built with barracks in the basement just incase a tornado sweeps through, everyone can quickly run downstairs and not miss a shift. Those waffles aren’t going to cook themselves, I know that’s for sure.

And so it makes a ton of sense that the Government uses Waffle House to gauge how bad a storm is. If people are still in there eating the All Star Special, the storm can’t be that bad. If they are on a limited menu, it’s probably just a category 2 and not much damage. And if the Waffle House is downright closed, well, send in the National Guard. This quote is amazing:

“It just doesn’t happen where Waffle House is normally shut down,” Philip Strouse, FEMA’s private sector liaison for the Southeast, told Markeplace in 2015. “… They’re the canary in the coalmine, if you will.”

Shout out to the Waffle House, keeping us safe from hurricanes. Bless it.

 

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