My friend Joe posted this picture from his trip to Arizona for a huge car auction. He stopped for what I'm sure was a delicious meal at Waffle House. And it reminded me...if we had a Waffle House, we'd know how bad the Groundhog Day storm was! But we don't. So we won't. Here's why.

Waffle House is literally all over The South. You know how there are Perkins all over the Midwest? Well, in The South, Waffle House is like that. And their hash browns are amazing (you may remember them from Bad Touch, by Bloodhound Gang).

Because they're everywhere, they're useful for more than breakfast. They're useful for FEMA in rating natural disasters. True. Story.

According to The Waffle House Index, you can tell how bad things are by looking at or calling a Waffle House.

Green: the restaurant is serving a full menu, indicating the restaurant has power and damage is limited.
Yellow: the restaurant is serving a limited menu, indicating there may be no power or only power from a generator or food supplies may be low.
Red: the restaurant is closed, indicating severe damage.

Wiki goes on to say...

Professor Panos Kouvelis of Olin Business School says Waffle House, along with other chains, such as Home Depot, Walmart and Lowe's, which do a significant proportion of their business in the southern US where there is a frequent risk of hurricanes, demonstrates the benefit of good risk management and disaster preparedness.

So, it's not just Waffle House, but a few other businesses, too. Businesses that people need after a disaster. Which totally makes sense, right? People need food, people need materials for repair, and people need clothes, etc.

CREDIT: James La Rabe

I visited a few Waffle Houses, years ago. I was road-tripping from Fargo to Miami. In December. And I had a blast. Along the way I took the Jack Daniel's Tour, I stopped to check out Independence, MO (and Frmr President Harry Truman's House and Library), and so much more. See those pics here.

The breakfast was unremarkable, except for the hash-browns. Perfectly round, perfect amount of butter and salt. They were magnificent. Everything else? Meh.

So, I'm not calling for a MidWest Waffle House Index. But maybe a Perkins index?

*Obviously FEMA doesn't just use a few businesses in their determination, it's just a quick, handy, and kinda cool guide. SNOPES lays it all out here.