Waffle House: The unsung hero of hurricane season on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Waffle House
Waffle House AP

Scattered. Covered. Smothered. Chunked. Peppered. Topped.

Add it to your hashbrowns, or to your eggs, or to anything on the menu.

You might have to wait a while, especially if you're dining after midnight at one of the busiest locations in the U.S., but Waffle House won't tell you "no" if they have it and can make it.

And since hurricane season doesn't officially begin until June 1 and there's already a tropical system in Gulf of Mexico, it's likely Coast residents can rely on Waffle House to stay open during the storm.

Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast by Monday morning, bringing heavy rainfall and potential flash flooding. But precipitation and street flooding won't turn off the lights inside the yellow and brown diners that light up Beach Boulevard 24/7/365.

“We usually only close if it’s Category 4 or above,” a server at Waffle House in Bay St. Louis told the Sun Herald last year as the Coast prepared for Hurricane Nate, noting that the windows are made to withstand hurricane-force winds.

As long as the Waffle House Index is in the green, restaurants will stay open, even if curfews are in tact, so that emergency personnel, journalists and police officers can have a hot meal during the the storm.

Here’s Fema’s Waffle House Index, from the Miami Herald:


Waffle House is serving a full menu and the electricity is on


Waffle House is serving a limited menu, implying low food supplies and the necessity of using generators


Waffle house has closed, and “life as we once knew it has been reduced to chaos and entropy.”