Friday, September 14, 2018

While cockroaches may be able to survive a nuclear holocaust, only Waffle Houses can survive Cat 4 hurricanes

I suspect that few people know that FEMA actually has a hurricane measuring tool they call the Waffle House indicator, because out of all the different businesses and institutions that ordinarily make for the hills at the first sign of a hurricane, the Southern staple restaurant almost always stays open in one capacity or another.

The popular restaurant chain Waffle House has a reputation for staying open all hours of the day, every day, even during hurricanes. In fact, a common reference point for how bad a hurricane has gotten comes in the form of whether the Waffle Houses in the area are open. “When Waffle House surrenders to a hurricane, you know it’s bad,” read one Miami Herald headline in 2016. 
If you get there and the Waffle House is closed? That’s really bad. That’s where you go to work,” a FEMA employee told the outlet. 
Even in harsh hurricane conditions, Waffle House will offer a limited menu with items that don’t require power, water, and gas to prepare. The restaurant usually won’t shut down unless it’s physically destroyed. 
This tenacity led FEMA to create an index to gauge the severity of hurricanes and their damages using Waffle House as a barometer. In 2004, amid Hurricane Charley, then-FEMA administrator W. Craig Fugate, Florida state meteorologist Ben Nelson, and member of the National Guard were assessing the damage and attempting to find a place to eat. 
The so-called Waffle House Index also serves as an “indicator of how complex and long supply chains are — for food, for fuel, for power — and of what it takes to plan around infrastructure that can be fragile in unexpected ways.” - Zerohedge
Ironically Waffle Houses have not lost a great deal of business during the 'retail apocalypse' and move by millenmials towards healthier food choices.  And while most restaurant chains have long since been gobbled up by conglomerates, Waffle House not only is still a privately held company, but its annual sales for its 1800+ stores bring in over $1 billion per year.

They say that cockroaches are one of the very few living things that would survive a nuclear holocaust, but until that day actually comes, we can rely much more on the Waffle House being open in weather conditions even the Post Office can't touch.

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