“Waffle House Index” Used to Identify Severity of Hurricane Ian

Thursday morning on FOX and Friends, Ainsley Earhardt interviewed Waffle House CEO Walt Ehmer to discuss the “Waffle House index” and how it helps first responders identify how quickly an area impacted by the hurricane may bounce back. 

With color coding, green means the restaurant is open, yellow means the restaurant has a limited menu, and red means it is closed completely. The “Waffle House index” began to be used when FEMA noticed that if Waffle Houses were able to open after a storm it meant the community was doing well, and if they were not open, it meant the community was not doing well. 


Currently, there are over 30 Waffle Houses closed throughout Florida due to Hurricane Ian. Ehmer explained that they closed all Waffle Houses that were in harm’s way before the storm and now they are in the process of assessing where they have power and can get people in to work. Ehmer predicts the biggest challenges to be in and around the Fort Myers area with the information he has at the moment. 


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