" . . . One restaurant that almost never closes or is hurt by storms, however, is Waffle House. The famously resilient chain is consistently known to be the last of businesses to remain open when others shutter up. The company has a reputation for never closing and even has a group of restaurant managers known as ‘jump teams’ that travel to storm-stricken areas to help franchises continue operating.
Waffle House’s well-known sturdiness also serves as a monitor of sorts for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Known as the 'Waffle House Index,' FEMA has used the color-coded maps to update the public on how storm conditions are impacting areas since 2004. If a Waffle House restaurant is open and serving its entire menu, the map shows a green location. If the franchise is open but serving a limited menu, the index shows a yellow location. If the restaurant is entirely closed, the rarest of scenarios, the index is red.
In Myrtle Beach, the Waffle House location on Frontage Road posted a sign on the front door that the location would be closed. For patrons brushing the evacuation warnings aside, a locked door from the one location that almost never closes might have been a sign that the storm was getting serious. . ."