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Here's your sign: Waffle House closed until after Florence

16 September 2018

If a Waffle House closes, officials believe that area must have been hit hard.

"If we are open quickly after the storm broke, that means the community is coming back and we are getting back to that sense of normalcy", Pat Warner, director or PR at Waffle House, said in an interview on CNN 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.

Just as FOX 5 News brings in special teams to the area, so does Waffle House. However, The Post would like you to know that waiting to leave until Waffle House closes is not the recommended practice for storm planning.

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On Tuesday, Waffle House tweeted a photo of personnel hunkered down in a situation room, in front of screens with maps and the hurricane's projected path. "Plan ahead and be safe", the company encouraged its customers.

That's right: One of the South's most popular breakfast chains plays an important role in hurricane forecasting.

But Waffle House is different - so different, in fact, that the Federal Emergency Management Agency actually pays close attention to which restaurants the company decides to close during a hurricane or other disaster.

One of the things that people know is that Waffle House is normally open. FEMA has since developed a color-coded system that is dependent on Waffle House's status.

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FEMA even uses restaurant sales bumps as an indicator in monitoring severe weather, more specifically through the Waffle House Storm Center. We call it red. "But our job [as corporate officials] is to give them all the support they need to stay open".

Waffle House is used as an example of how quickly a business, and therefore a community, may recover from a storm. "That's really bad. That's where you go to work", then FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said. If the restaurant has a limited menu, often meaning the freezer is out, it's labeled yellow.

"The sooner restaurants, grocery and corner stores, or banks can reopen, the sooner local economies will start generating revenue again - signaling a stronger recovery for that community", the agency wrote in a 2011 blog post.

Thank you to the dedicated Waffle House employees who are there to help out!

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Here's your sign: Waffle House closed until after Florence