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Hurricane Irma and The Waffle House Index: What You Need to Know

What is the Waffle House Index and how is it connected to Hurricane Irma? Believe it or not, this index helps FEMA gauge a storm's possible impact on a community. Watch this video to find out how.

Video Transcript

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

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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.

Stay Updated with TheStreet's Latest Hurricane Coverage:

Editors' pick: Originally published Sept. 6.