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The majority of grocery stores, restaurants, and other establishments in the path of Hurricane Ian have closed their doors or modified their hours as the storm blows across parts of Florida. But one surprising spot made the list of closures: the always-open Waffle House.
Njeri Boss, the Vice President of Public Relations at Waffle House, confirmed with USA Today that the chain has in fact closed some locations this week. "We do have closures in mandatory evacuation zones and locations within low-lying areas that are subject to severe flooding," she said.
As of 11 a.m. EST on Wednesday, September 28, a total of 21 Waffle House locations have temporarily closed their doors. This is a big deal because Waffle Houses are famously open 24/7, 365 days a year, and never close under normal circumstances.
Due to the Waffle House closures, the Waffle House Index has once again found itself in the spotlight. Used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the index helps provide a glimpse into how a community is doing during a natural disaster.
"The index itself isn’t just about whether or not you can get pralines on your waffles or if you can get waffles at all, but rather about the damage in a neighborhood," reads a FEMA blog post about the index. "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."
Who knew an All-Star Special could be so impactful?
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