Published on: October 12, 2018by Kevin Coupe
A couple of weeks ago, Kate McMahon wrote about the ‘Waffle House Index,” an actual term used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to track the severity of various weather events.
Florence, I thought the morning news show was playing a clip from a late-night standup comic. And one in bad taste, at that. The measure, she wrote, “is based on Waffle House’s reputation for keeping its 2,100, 24-hour locations open during severe weather events such as hurricanes, tropical storms and tornadoes.
By this standard, it was a tough week. Hurricane Michael, which this week ravaged the Florida panhandle, forced the closure of 30 Waffle House restaurants this week - 22 in Florida and eight in Georgia.
Certainly, the pictures and news from the southeastern US this week have been horrible, and it will take months and billions of dollars to begin to put the region back together.
But we’ll know a lot based on when these restaurants reopen. As FEMA has said, "The Waffle House test just doesn't tell us how quickly a business might rebound — it also tells how the larger community is faring. The sooner restaurants, grocery and corner stores or banks can reopen, the sooner local economies will start generating revenue again — signaling a strong recovery for that community.”
- KC's View: