Florida's Waffle House Index: If the Waffle House is closed, you know the storm is serious

  • Source: WPEC-TV CBS 12 West Palm Beach
  • Published: 06/19/2020 12:00 AM

After a serious storm, it's not uncommon to see the world come to a standstill. Traffic lights often go out, homes are ruined and businesses stay closed, but one restaurant tends to stay operational and consistent, despite the chaos and damage. In many places, Waffle House has become synonymous with stormy skies; the business is able to make decisions in the face of serious storms that have caught the eye of first responders and federal officials like Craig Fugate. Fugate was the Director for the Emergency Management Division for the state of Florida when he first noticed the trend. "What we had seen was the Waffle House was getting open before anything else did," he said. Fugate was responding to Hurricane Charley in 2004 when he first thought up the "Waffle House Index."


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