NATIONWIDE – Waffle House restaurants serve more than just waffles amid severe weather.

The restaurant chain is known for never closing their doors, no matter how bad conditions get.

Therefore, the Federal Emergency Management Agency looks to the “Waffle House Index” to see which locations will close as an indication of the areas being hit the hardest by weather.

On Sept. 11, Waffle House tweeted that they have activated their Storm Center to monitor Hurricane Florence.

In a FEMA blog post from 2012, Florida’s Department of Emergency Management head said the Waffle House test lets them know how the local community is handling conditions. It also shows how long it might take for a community to recover and reopen businesses after a storm.

Waffle House Index:

  • Green: Stores open with full menu
  • Yellow: Limited menu served
  • Red: Location forced to close

The index rarely ever reaches the red level. 

Waffle House has more than 2,000 locations, mostly in the South. There are a total of 117 Waffle Houses in Texas.