Waffle House company headquarters in Norcross preparing for Florence

The Waffle House Storm Center is actively monitoring Hurricane Florence an indicator that parts of the East Coast are in serious danger

The Waffle House Storm Center is actively monitoring Hurricane Florence an indicator that parts of the East Coast are in serious danger

According to The Washington Post, some people living in the South will base their decision to evacuate their city based on whether the Waffle House is still open.

It's called the Waffle House Index, or test, which uses the operating conditions of the resilient Southern restaurants as a barometer for how well an area will recover from a hurricane, tornado or other hazard.

But here's your sign of just how bad Florence could be - a reporter at the Myrtle Beach NBC station posted on Facebook that Hurricane Florence - still miles away - was powerful enough to shut down the local Waffle House ahead of the storm. "Plan ahead and be safe", they tweeted. Really. This is because the restaurant is known for staying open through nearly anything - from a storm to a holiday.

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

Informally, it's called the Waffle House Index, and it's a real thing.

"The Waffle Condo check staunch would now not recount us how rapid a trade would possibly well well per chance rebound - it also tells how the easier personnel is faring", FEMA talked about in a 2011 weblog publish when Craig Fugate was administrator.

Because of this, FEMA internally uses an unofficial "Waffle House Index" to track potentially risky events. "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". Those evacuations apply to Waffle House employees, too.

If the diner is only serving a limited menu, it tells FEMA there may be supply or power issues in an area.

It is rare for the index to hit red.

As of September 12, the Waffle House Storm Center is activated and monitoring Florence. Waffle House is one of few businesses that usually remains open during natural disasters.

Warner said the restaurants along the Carolina coast impacted by Hurricane Florence are gathering resources, so they can open as soon as the storm is finished. So if a Waffle House closes, that's how you know the storm is really bad, or is predicted to be that way. They're not going to let a little Biblically strong wind stop them from slinging hash browns.

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