The Waffle House Index is an informal way for FEMA to gauge how quickly a community might bounce back after a disaster. Former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate started using it when he was the head of Florida's Department of Emergency Management.
Why does Waffle House Matter?
Because Waffle House as a company is a model for disaster preparedness.
How does it work?
Red: Area Waffle Houses are closed
Yellow: Waffle Houses are open with a limited menu
Green: Waffle Houses are open with a full menu
This is key for FEMA because revenue generated by local businesses is key to an area's recovery.
What You Need to Know About Hurricane Irma
Midday Wednesday, Hurricane Irma remains a category 5 storm. Wind speeds are estimated to be 185 miles per hour and this monster is now taking aim at Florida.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted in favor of the $7.85 billion in Hurricane Harvey relief funds requested by the Trump administration, the bulk of which would replenish FEMA's depleted coffers. The Senate will have to pass the bill as well before the money can be released. Read more from TheStreet's chief political reporter Emily Stewart here.
Click here for more of TheStreet's Special Report on Hurricane Irma.
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Editors' pick: Originally published Sept. 6.