Waffle House index as a storm indicator

Waffle House activated their storm center in preparation for Hurricane Florence. Their restaurants are open 24/7, so they need to keep track of which ones need to close or limit their menus. This might also have to do with an informal Waffle House Index that FEMA described last year:

If a Waffle House can serve a full menu, they’ve likely got power (or are running on a generator). A limited menu means an area may not have running water or electricity, but there’s gas for the stove to make bacon, eggs, and coffee: exactly what hungry, weary people need.

It’s more than just a Waffle House though.

Businesses in communities are often some of the biggest drivers of recovery. If stores can open, people can go back to work. If people can go back to work, they can return to at least one piece of a normal life—and that little piece of normalcy can make a big difference.

Hold up. I think I got it. If we just keep all the businesses open, we can avoid all disaster. That’s how causation-correlation works, right? Nailed it.

(Stay safe, Carolinians.)