Waffle House Closes For Hurricane

The chain is closing shuttering in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina

As Hurricane Matthew barrels its way up the southern part of the East Coast, residents are scrambling to leave the area to find safety on dry land. For some, the fact that beloved regional chain Waffle House had planned to stay open during the storm was a reassuring sign. But this morning, the chain Tweeted that it will close 25 restaurants in the area expected to be hit hardest by the storm.

Whether Waffle House stays open or not can be more indicative of the impact of a natural disaster than meets the eye. The chain is famous for staying open 24 hours, and closures are very rare, leading to something called "The Waffle House Index," which is actually used by FEMA to help assess how bad damage from a storm is. "If you get [to a place where a disaster hit] and the Waffle House is closed? That's really bad," FEMA administrator Craig Fugate tells Business Insider.

The response to the closing Tweets has been intense with fans and locals chiming in:

Stay safe, everyone.