Experts are using the 'Waffle House Index' to rank how bad Hurricane Ian is
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Storm Ian - the storm currently causing havoc in Florida - is seriously scary, and if you don't believe us, just check the Waffle House Index.
If you've ever wondered whether it's safe to go outside during a storm, the popular breakfast chain has you covered.
Known for its extreme weather prep, Waffle House tracks the progress of any given storm and if they close their doors, you know things are bad...
Waffle House has long provided sustenance to first responders, as they tend to keep their doors open in even the most chaotic conditions.
The well-prepared chain has a limited menu made available during extreme weathering that accounts for potential power outages and supply issues.
Waffle House also has dedicated 'jump teams' that work to re-open the restaurants as soon as it's safe to do so.
If that wasn't enough, the company their own system that indicates the severity of a storm by charting the number of restaurants marked red (closed) on their index.
All this means that when a Waffle House closes, it's a good indication that things are going to s**t.
#WaffleHouseIndexRed: 418 Waffle House restaurants closed. 1,574 open.— Waffle House (@WaffleHouse) March 25, 2020
Call your local Waffle House today for a carry-out order.
Visit https://t.co/TJdYpTHQPn for specific restaurant details. pic.twitter.com/tOQib3gSoZ
In fact, the index is so useful that experts use it as a guide, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency praising the company: "The Waffle House test just doesn't tell us how quickly a business might rebound – it also tells how the larger community is faring.
"The sooner restaurants, grocery and corner stores or banks can reopen, the sooner local economies will start generating revenue again – signaling a strong recovery for that community."
And just in case it wasn't clear how the index works, one Twitter user explained it perfectly:
The Waffle House Index:— DeleteTheNats (@DeleteTheNats) September 28, 2022
Open: Low threat, evacuation unneccessary
Limited Menu: High threat, evacuate if at all possible. Waffle House available as a shelter of last resort
Closed: Extreme threat, flee immediately https://t.co/mfznjNqq7C
So, given that the restaurant closed 21 outposts in Florida yesterday (28 September), it seems as if Storm Ian means serious business.
Twitter users quickly reacted to Waffle House's closure amid the Category 4 storm, as one user wrote: "THE WAFFLE HOUSE INDEX IS RED, I REPEAT, THE WAFFLE HOUSE INDEX IS RED, THIS IS NOT A DRILL, GET THE F*** OUT, BUI."
A second simply said: "Now I’m concerned."
While another got fairly philosophical about Waffle House and their storm index: "Later, I would learn of the legendary Waffle House Index. When all else fails, when disaster is upon you, when the Angel has broken the seal and read from the scroll and fire and blood rains from heaven and the great Beasts sing before the throne…Waffle House is open."
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