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Serving up hot meals

Keep It Simple And Stay Open: The Waffle House Storm Menu

The massive flooding in the Houston area has brought much of the city's commercial life to a halt. For those venturing out it can be hard to find a place to eat. The Houston Chronicle posted a list of bars and restaurants that are open in the aftermath of Harvey. It's not a big list. There are some cafes and diners serving up meals, but most of the locations are McDonald's or Waffle House restaurants.

Waffle House, the 24/7 comfort-food chain, is notable for keeping the doors open when hurricanes and natural disasters strike. The Federal Emergency Management Agency even measures the severity of a storm's damage by something called the Waffle House Index. When a Waffle House restaurant shuts down, it's really bad. "Waffle House stays on when the wind's blowing — they never close," Philip Strouse, FEMA's private sector liaison, told Yahoo Finance last year.

Well, Harvey's storm surges have been so severe that two Waffle House locations in the Houston area have indeed closed — one owing to flooding and one because nearby roads are impassable, said Pat Warner, Waffle House director of external affairs. But 30 Waffle House restaurants in Houston remain open, serving up hot meals and giving people a place to congregate and charge their cellphones.
     — Uri Berliner

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