How do you know that a hurricane threat is really really serious?? When always-open Waffle House diners shut their doors.
Even the most stubborn Floridians knew that it was time to evacuate for Hurricane Matthew when the Waffle House announced yesterday that it would be closing down 25 locations.
All Waffle House restaurants on 1-95 between Titusville, FL and Fort Pierce, FL are closed. Stay safe Waffle Nation! #HurricaneMatthew
— Waffle House (@WaffleHouse) October 6, 2016
— sarah (@SarahDecedue) October 7, 2016
Social media went into a tailspin over the announcement, but it turns out that there is a reason to be worried when Waffle House shuts its doors. That’s because Waffle House has a reputation for being able to stay open during natural disasters thanks to sophisticated risk management plans in place..
Even FEMA uses an unofficial color coded “Waffle House Index” to determine how serious a natural disaster really is. Green means that the location is serving the full menu. Yellow means that only the limited menu is available, and red means the location is closed.
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) October 6, 2016
Said FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, “If you get [to a place where a disaster hit] and the Waffle House is closed? That’s really bad.”
To put Hurricane Matthew into perspective on the Waffle House Index, only 22 locations were closed by Hurricane Irene in 2011.
When Waffle House closes, you know the apocalypse is near. 😐😮😨😱
⚡ Waffle Houses are closing in Floridahttps://t.co/uKi3yEJTmm
— Hon©ho👊 (@HonchoEscobar) October 7, 2016