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National Restaurant Association - Restaurants begin recovery following Hurricane Michael

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Restaurants begin recovery following Hurricane Michael

Members of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association joined a Chick fil A in Tallahassee to provide food for first responders in Leon County. They delivered 300 meals and bottled water.

Hurricane Michael, the Category 4 storm that hit the Florida panhandle and southern Georgia, is now a Category 2 tropical storm headed toward the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

Michael, recorded as the strongest hurricane to hit the United States in a century, battered the Florida panhandle with heavy winds of up to 155 miles per hour. It caused at least two reported deaths as well as destruction to many homes and businesses. Hundreds of thousands of people in Florida, Georgia and some areas of Alabama also are without power.

President Trump has declared a state of emergency in Florida and Georgia.

Visit the National Restaurant Association’s Hurricane Resources site

The hurricane was so bad that Waffle House, a restaurant chain that rarely closes and often provides food to first responders, closed 30 restaurants in Florida and Georgia Wednesday night. The chain is known as so reliable the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses it to unofficially monitor which restaurants are open and how well their areas will recover from natural disasters.

It is still too early to tell what effects the storm has had on restaurant operators in both states.

Karen Bremer, president and CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association, estimated that Michael has affected approximately 1,500 restaurants in southwest Georgia, but the extent of the damage is still being determined. Before the storm hit, the GRA issued an electronic alert to its members that included a series of Emergency Preparedness procedures that would help during the hurricane.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association said despite heavy damage in the Panhandle, some of its members have reopened their restaurants and are providing food to first responders. A Chick Fil A member in Tallahassee prepared and packed 300 meals today for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and is planning to also provide lunch and dinner. Other FRLA members, including Bella Bella, Chicken Salad Chick, Dreamland Barbeque, Jacob’s on the Plaza, Krispy Kreme, Wahoo Seafood Grill and Willie Jewell’s Barbeque, are feeding first responders at the Tallahassee police and fire departments, the Emergency Operations Center and EMS personnel.

We will continue to update information to keep members informed

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