Waffle House company headquarters in Norcross preparing for Florence

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As Florence begins to batter the East Coast, restaurant chains like Bojangles are bracing for the worst of impacts in the direct path of the storm.

At least one restaurant in Myrtle Beach went dark a few days before the storm, and now has a sign saying it will reopen when Florence passes, WMBF reported.

If a Waffle House closes, officials believe that area must have been hit hard.

The restaurant chain appears to be taking the job seriously, activating its own storm center as Hurricane Florence approaches.

The breakfast chain is open 24 hours a day all year long, and it is known to be open during natural disasters.

"If a Waffle House store is open and offering a full menu, the index is green", a 2011 article in the magazine EHS Today says.

On Tuesday, Waffle House tweeted a photo of personnel hunkered down in a situation room, in front of screens with maps and the hurricane's projected path. "Plan ahead and be safe", the company encouraged its customers.

Hurricanes are typically measured by pressure, wind, storm surge and damage, but FEMA also uses an unofficial measurement - the "Waffle House Index".

Waffle House is headquartered in Georgia and has more than 2,000 establishments, mostly in the South.

Waffle House test doesn't just tell us how quickly a business might rebound - it also tells us how the larger community is faring.

Waffle House said on Twitter that its "Storm Center" was monitoring Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit the coast between North Carolina and SC late Thursday or early Friday and could impact 230 of its restaurants. Check out the color-coded index. We call it red. The Savannah Hwy. Waffle House just over the bridge in West Ashley remains open - when we called this morning they didn't even offer a hello, but instead answered with "yes we are open with a limited menu so come on in!"

"You usually see a decline ahead and a little bit of a pick up after", she said. They serve a specialized menu, and the employees stay in a nearby hotel to keep a fresh shift working around the clock. "The sooner restaurants, grocery and corner stores, or banks can re-open, the sooner local economies will start generating revenue again", the FEMA website states. "After a storm, they're really looking to us to be there to help them out because they're used to us being there the rest of the year".

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