The Wall Street Journal has your post-Irene feel-good story of the day – how the Waffle House recovers so quickly from a disaster like a hurricane. In fact, FEMA director Craig Fugate uses Waffle House as a gauge on how bad a disaster is.
I’ll give you how the Weldon, North Carolina Waffle House dealt with Irene as a tease to get you over to WSJ.com to read the entire thing:
The company began tracking Irene 10 days ago, moving ice and eggs to staging sites outside the potential damage zone.
On Friday, the company’s mobile command center—an RV named EM-50 after Bill Murray’s urban-assault vehicle in the 1981 movie “Stripes”—headed north from the Norcross, Ga., headquarters.
Power went off at the Waffle House just off Interstate 95 in Weldon on Saturday evening as Irene churned through. The restaurant kept serving until it got too dark for the grill cook to see when the food was cooked, then it shut down.
It reopened the next day at dawn. The overhead lights and walk-in freezer weren’t working, but the gas grill was. The cooks boiled water on the grill, then poured it through the coffee machine, over beans ground before the power went out. The district manager, Chris Barnes, handed employees copies of an emergency grill-only menu. The fare included ham-and-egg sandwiches for $3.15 and quarter-pound hamburgers for $2.70. Servers nudged customers to order sausage instead of bacon, because four sausage patties fit on the grill for every two slices of bacon.
By 9 a.m., cars were lining up to get into the parking lot. At 10 a.m., the power came back on, the ceramic waffle irons were plugged in and waffles were added to the menu.