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As Hurricane Florence approaches, Waffle House activates ‘storm center’
16 September 2018, 11:12 | Joann Bryant
Waffle House Storm Center activates for Florence
According to The Washington Post, some people living in the South will base their decision to evacuate their city based on whether the Waffle House is still open.
Waffle House is so crucial when a storm hits because the 24-hour chain often stays open when the weather gets bad.
After several Waffle House locations closed or were serving only a limited menu in 2004 when Hurricane Charley hit Florida, FEMA officials noted the severity of the storm damage based on the fact that the chain never closes.
The company has its own Storm Center, which they have put in place to monitor Hurricane Florence, which is predicted to cause serious damage in the Carolinas. "Plan ahead and be safe". For that reason, it can be a good indicator of a storm's path of destruction when Waffle House is closed for business. Check out the color-coded index.
A red index means a Waffle House has been forced to close.
"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", Waffle House spokesperson Pat Warner told CNN. The sooner restaurants, grocery and corner stores, or banks can re-open, the sooner local economies will start generating revenue again - signaling a stronger recovery for that community. If the index is green, the Waffle House is open and serving from its full menu, whether customers want the pecan waffle or the fiesta omelet.
Meanwhile, Waffle House's main Twitter account had a message for the approaching storm: "Hey Flo". We call it red.
"They know immediately which stores are going to be affected and they call their employees to know who can show up and who cannot", Panos Kouvelis, Ph.D., the Emerson Distinguished Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management and director of the Olin's Boeing Center for Technology, Information and Manufacturing, explained to EHS Today. So if a Waffle House closes, that's how you know the storm is really bad, or is predicted to be that way.
Warner told CNN that Waffle House prepares for a storm's aftermath by having resources like generators, food, and staff at the ready outside (but close to) the impacted area so that it can reopen restaurants as soon as possible.
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