Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

As Hurricane Florence approaches, Waffle House activates ‘storm center’

As Hurricane Florence approaches, Waffle House activates ‘storm center’

If locations in the affected area are forced to close, the index is red - and because Waffle Houses are very prepared, this is the rarest scenario.

"If we are open quickly after the storm, that means the community is coming back and folks are out, we are getting back to that sense of normalcy", Warner told CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Wednesday.

The Waffle House on Frontage Road in Myrtle Beach was eerily empty two days before Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall somewhere in the Carolinas, a sign to many that this storm is ones to take seriously. If there were a Waffle House in London during The Blitz that bad boy would have been taking orders for steak and eggs in between bursts of anti-aircraft fire.

The breakfast chain is open 24 hours a day all year long, and it is known to be open during natural disasters.

When a storm strikes, local officials will put out a call to the nearest Waffle House and find out what's on the menu. The team also asked people to "plan ahead and be safe".

It's a real thing - and the Federal Emergency Management Agency uses it.

Still uncertainty as Hurricane Florences path moves south
Warmer than normal sea temperatures to add energy and rain to a storm. " North Carolina , my message is clear", a grim Gov. The monster storm showed signs of slowing down as it inched closer to the US , according to the National Hurricane Center .

While it may sound silly, one of the tools the Federal Emergency Management Agency informally uses to decide how bad a storm is and if it warrants evacuations is the status of Waffle House.

According to, the Waffle House test doesn't just inform the public about which restaurants are open but it also helps paint a picture about how the community as a whole is faring.

Waffle House has 2,100 restaurants across 25 states, most of which are in the South. The sooner restaurants, grocery stores, and banks re-open - the sooner the local economy and recovery restart.

Waffle House said on Twitter that its "Storm Center" was monitoring Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit the coast between North Carolina and SC late Thursday or early Friday and could impact 230 of its restaurants. We call it red. If it's yellow, that means the menu is limited to specific items.

A representative for Waffle House did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. We have 250 restaurants, and we are monitoring resources so they can roll in right after the storm.

"You usually see a decline ahead and a little bit of a pick up after", she said. "They have temporary warehouses where they can store food and most importantly, they know they can operate without a full menu".

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