A lot of people might already know this, but the Waffle House Index is a pretty yuge indicator especially in times of disaster, and is actually used by FEMA since 2011. This is unprecedented.
From the Waffle House Index wikipedia entry:
If you get there and the Waffle House is closed? That’s really bad…
— Craig Fugate, Former Head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
As Craig [Fugate] often says, the Waffle House test doesn’t just tell us how quickly a business might rebound – it also tells us how the larger community is faring. The sooner restaurants, grocery and corner stores, or banks can re-open, the sooner local economies will start generating revenue again – signaling a stronger recovery for that community. The success of the private sector in preparing for and weathering disasters is essential to a community’s ability to recover in the long run.— Dan Stoneking, FEMA News of the Day – What do Waffle Houses Have to Do with Risk Management?
Disclaimer: This is a guest post and it doesn’t represent the views of IWB.