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To gauge Hurricane Irma’s impact on Miami, some won’t be watching just the weather; they’ll be tracking Cuban coffee consumption.

Cuban-style espresso, or cafecito, is a staple of daily life in Miami. Former Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate says how fast Cuban coffee stands reopen may indicate how the city is faring.

Fugate led Florida’s emergency management division during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. At that time, he used the Waffle House restaurant chain as a gauge of the storm’s impact.

Waffle House is known for being open all the time. Thus, a closed restaurant was a very bad sign. There are no Waffle Houses in Miami, so Fugate suggested Cuban coffee as an alternative.

He says if Cuban coffee stands are closed, “it is bad.”



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