I spent 11 years of my adult life living down the street from various Waffle House restaurants. Granted, if you’re living in certain parts of the south, it’s practically impossible not to live down the street from a Waffle House. Most especially if you’re a college student, which I was for four of those eleven years. The restaurants are a neighborhood staple, and they are especially good late at night after too many beers from a fraternity keg.

Given my fond memories of Waffle Houses, and my current marketing orientation, I was especially tickled to see a fascinating Waffle House article by Valerie Bauerlein in the Wall Street Journal today.

In a nutshell: Given the business challenge presented by being a neighborhood restaurant chain in disaster-prone geographies, the management team at Waffle House has figured out how to respond quickly and efficiently to disasters. They do this with advance planning, limited, tailored menus that vary depending on whether there is limited electricity, water or gas, and even a mobile command center named after the assault vehicle in the movie Stripes.

Apparently the head of FEMA has even created a “Waffle House” index that measures storm severity by how many Waffle Houses in an area are closed for business after a natural disaster. Read the article by clicking here.