FEMA Uses Waffle House Index to Measure Hurricane Severity

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Might explain the nation's obesity epidemic.
Might explain the nation's obesity epidemic. Photo: Waffle House/WSJ

Looking for a reason to move to Canada? When it comes to measuring hurricane damage, FEMA uses two metrics, reports The Wall Street Journal: First is something called the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, which sounds appropriately scientific; the second metric relies on Waffle House.

Might explain the nation's obesity epidemic.
Might explain the nation's obesity epidemic. Photo: Waffle House/WSJ

The Waffle House chain is basically the cockroach of the fatty-food world. The place just won’t shut down, even during driving winds and torrential downpours. It’s a beacon of hope, a place of comfort and shelter for people who desire a choice when courting death: braving the elements or cardiac arrest by way of smothered hash browns.

You have to give the place credit: When Irene hit, the company’s mobile command center ("an RV named EM-50 after Bill Murray’s urban-assault vehicle in the 1981 movie Stripes," notes WSJ) sprung into action, moving items to safe locations for an emergency "grill-only" menu. Does Obama favorite Alice Waters possess a mobile command center? We suspect not.

Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions.”

The Waffle House chain is basically the cockroach of the fatty-food world. The place just won’t shut down, even during driving winds and torrential downpours. It’s a beacon of hope, a place of comfort and shelter for people who desire a choice when courting death: braving the elements or cardiac arrest by way of smothered hash browns.

You have to give the place credit: When Irene hit, the company’s mobile command center ("an RV named EM-50 after Bill Murray’s urban-assault vehicle in the 1981 movie Stripes," notes WSJ) sprung into action, moving items to safe locations for an emergency "grill-only" menu. Does Obama favorite Alice Waters possess a mobile command center? We suspect not.

Waffle House Index Measures Hurricane Recovery [WSJ]