(Gray News) - Waffle House, a 24-hour restaurant chain known for its resiliency in disaster situations, announced Wednesday that 418 of its locations across the U.S. are closed.
Another 1,574 remain open, the company stated on Facebook. The temporary shutdowns come amid stay-at-home orders or other limitations on people going out in public during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus across the country.
FEMA created a Waffle House Index in 2011, an informal measure to show how areas are faring in a natural disaster. Then-administrator Craig Fugate recognized the restaurant is extremely prepared for emergencies.
The company has special crew, the Waffle House Storm Center, which monitors storms and will dispatch help to restaurants in the path of a hurricane.
The FEMA Waffle House Index is color-coded red, yellow and green.
If it's green, all systems are normal and the community is recovering well.
A yellow on the index means Waffle House is serving a limited menu, and the community may be experiencing power or supply issues.
When Waffle House closes restaurants, the index is at a red level.