How Waffle House became a disaster indicator for FEMA

Popular Science
Nov 11, 2013

Nearly a decade ago, Florida's emergency management chief, W. Craig Fugate, noticed that when information was scarce after a disaster, the status of a 24-hour Waffle House restaurant often indicated whether an area had electricity, gas, and passable roads. But he isn't the first to extrapolate large trends from unconventional indicators. E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Economics and Finance David Parsley's use of Big Mac prices to evaluate economic differences among countries is mentioned.