Sep 15, 2018

"Waffle House Index" activated for Hurricane Florence

Waffle House. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Waffle Houses throughout the South are being used to determine the damage and stability of communities in North and South Carolina as the state rides out Hurricane Florence.

How it works: The Federal Emergency Management Agency uses the "Waffle House Index" to determine if an establishment is offering a full menu. According to FEMA, "If a Waffle House can serve a full menu, they’ve likely got power (or are running on a generator). A limited menu means an area may not have running water or electricity, but there’s gas for the stove to make bacon, eggs, and coffee: exactly what hungry, weary people need."

Why it matters: Businesses like Waffle House give people a place to go for normalcy in the midst of chaos, writes FEMA. "For small towns, places like coffee shops and local restaurants are often the local hubs of activity."

They also can give people a place to stay if they've lost power. In the midst of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, a Waffle House in Wilmington is taking people in who have nowhere to go — even without ID cards, reports the LA Times.

A Waffle House employee told the Times "we're not closing unless it gets unsafe." And the establishment is open 24 hours every day of the year.

Go deeper

Stephanie Grisham out as White House press secretary

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is departing her post to return to the East Wing as First Lady Melania Trump's chief of staff, the White House announced Tuesday. The news was first reported by CNN.

Why it matters: Grisham will leave after nine months without ever having held a formal press briefing. Her departure follows the arrival of new White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who has a chance to overhaul a communications shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

WeWork board sues SoftBank

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

SoftBank was sued Tuesday morning by a special committee of WeWork's board of directors for alleged breaches of contract and fiduciary duty related to SoftBank's decision to cancel a $3 billion tender offer for WeWork shares.

Why it matters: SoftBank is viewed by many in the private markets as an unfaithful partner. If this reaches trial, that reputation could either become widely cemented or reversed.

IEA boss won't let Big Oil off the hook

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Freya Ingrid Morales/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

International Energy Agency executive director Fatih Birol has a tough job these days — responding to an unprecedented crisis now without losing sight of an existential one that must be tackled over decades.

Driving the news: He spoke to Axios yesterday about his work to help stabilize oil markets and ensure coronavirus doesn't sap governments' and companies' work on global warming.