FEMA has been using the informal index to evaluate the impact of natural disasters since 2011.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
September 05, 2019
Waffle House
Credit: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

With Hurricane Dorian pummeling down upon South Carolina, many people are leaping to action to help people impacted by the hurricane.

Chief among them, Waffle House, which is working hard to stay open during the storm and feed the local community and first responders. Noted for having stellar disaster preparedness, the Southern chain is known to remain open despite storms, tornadoes, flooding, and other natural disasters. To that end, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been using something dubbed the "Waffle House Index" since 2011 for evaluating risk management situations during natural disasters.

The index includes red, yellow, and green categories, with red indicating restaurant closure due to severe damage or flooding; yellow indicating restaurants offering a limited menu with no power or power from a generator, and green indicating a restaurant offering its full menu with limited or no damage to the establishment.

Today, it was announced that the Waffle House Index is officially flashing red in the Palmetto State, per FOX Business. "We have two restaurants right now that are closed—one's in Charleston and the other's in Johns Island," Pat Warner, Waffle House director of PR and external affairs, told the news outlet. In addition to these two "red" eateries on the index, Warner shared that 10 additional restaurants in the Charleston area remain open, but are currently operating without power, giving these restaurants a yellow label on the index. "In total, Waffle House has about 25 restaurants in the Charleston area. The remaining ones are operating at full capacity and are coded green," continues reporter Jonathan Garber in the piece.

WATCH: What Hurricane Dorian Means for Georgia's Record-Breaking Number of Sea Turtle Nests

A flash flood warning is currently in effect in Southern South Carolina, with Charleston closing many roads in the wake of Dorian. If you gotta have your smothered and covered, make sure you put your safety first.