Thursday, December 08, 2016
The "Waffle House Index" is a curious metric of hurricane severity. Waffle House is a chain of restaurants in the southeastern section of the US that stays open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Its executives gauge the severity of storms before landfall and announce which ones will close for the duration, if any at all. Disaster responders have used this as one indication of the damaging nature of a coming storm. The media picked up on it and the Waffle House Index has become part of storm reporting. It is testimony to the planning and logistics of the Waffle House managers that its restaurants can stay open during all but the worst storms. As such, it is a PR coup for the company and its goal to remain open at all times.