Barry makes landfall in Louisiana: Live updates  01/01/2019 00:00:00 
An Alabama Waffle House is pictured in 2018.
An Alabama Waffle House is pictured in 2018. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Three Waffle House locations in Barry's path are shut down right now:One in Morgan City, another in the city of Gray and a third outside of Kenner, according to Pat Warner,the director of PR and External Affairs.

Warner saidmany variables go into the decision to close a restaurant, including mandatory evacuations, power, water, utilities, flooding, access and staffing available.

Waffle House operations are one way that the Federal Emergency Management Agency uses to determine how bad a storm is  seriously.

FEMA coined the term "Waffle House Index" to measure the effect of a natural disaster on an area. If a Waffle House shuts down or limits its menu after such hazards, federal officials conclude the community took a major hit.

"The Waffle House test just doesn't tell us how quickly a business might rebound  it also tells how the larger community is faring," FEMAsaid in a 2011 blog post when Craig Fugate was administrator.

"The sooner restaurants, grocery and corner stores, or banks can re-open, the sooner local economies will start generating revenue again  signaling a strong recovery for that community."

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