Waffles and Disasters
I didn't know it at the time, but that little Waffle House was part of a larger, well-crafted disaster plan. The Waffle House restaurant chain rates as one of the best disaster prepared businesses in the United States. Operating in the hurricane-prone South and Mid-Atlantic regions, the company has pre- and post-disaster plans for keeping its 1,600 restaurants open (or getting them quickly reopened). Providing customers with reasonably priced, hot food when nothing else is available is part of the privately held company's business model. And it works. FEMA even uses Waffle Houses as part of their disaster assessments – if a Waffle House isn't open someplace, they know conditions in that area are bad.
I give Waffle House some serious points for planning, logistics, and execution (key elements of any emergency response). Check out a recent Wall Street Journal article and the associated video for more.