How Serious is Laura? The Waffle House in Lake Charles Has Closed
"If you get there and the Waffle House is closed? That's really bad." That's a quote from the former head of FEMA Craig Fugate. The Waffle House index is a real thing that FEMA uses to determine the effects of a storm and the likely scale of assistance required for disaster recovery. Waffle House has a long time reputation for having fantastic disaster preparedness, which gives them the ability to stay open during extreme weather or reopen immediately afterwards.
So as Mr. Fugate so eloquently said, if the local Waffle House is closed any impending storm is going to be bad. And that's where we are with Hurricane Laura. It's being widely reported that the Waffle Houses in Lake Charles have closed as Laura's out bands have hit the area. Restaurants closing is what FEMA considers a 'Red' level disaster because Waffle Houses don't generally close for anything.
So, what does this mean for you? It means you better take this storm seriously. As Governor John Bel Edwards has said on numerous occasions, Laura is expected to produce 'unsurvivable' storm surges, heavy rain, flash floods, tornadoes and every other kind of damage and destruction imaginable.
I know a lot of people don't like listening to the Governor. So, if you don't respect him or his stances, respect Waffle House. Because, when they're closing up shop, that means whatever is coming is something that needs to be taken seriously. And considering that dozens of stores are closing in South Louisiana, that should tell you everything you need to know.