You can be a driver of delivery vehicles heard tornado sirens going off on an Illinois road on Dec. 10, her supervisor told her to “just keep delivering” packages, according to text messages obtained by Bloomberg News.

A text conversation which can be read in full on, took place around 80 minutes before a tornado destroyed Amazon’s distribution center in Edwardsville, Illinois, killing six workers.

On December 13, the Amazon fulfillment center at Edwardsville in Illinois was damaged.
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

“Radios been going off,” the driver texted her dispatcher from her delivery van a little after 7 p.m. The dispatcher responded, “OK. Keep driving. We can’t just call people back for a warning unless Amazon tells us to do so.”

The driver sent another text at 7:40 a second time. Her hearing outdoor sirens was a possibility. indicate a life-threatening event is imminent.

“Just keep delivering for now,” the dispatcher replied. “We have to wait for word from Amazon. They will decide if we have to send people home. You will be notified if anything changes. I’m talking with them now about it.”

It is as follows to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center, there is “no safe option when caught in a tornado in a car.” Driving out of a tornado’s path may be possible only if the twister is “visible, far away and traffic is light” and the driver can move “at right angles to the tornados.”

NOAA recommends that you seek shelter as soon as possible in an underground or sturdy structure. If that’s not possible, it recommends leaving the vehicle and lying on the ground at a level “noticeably lower” than the roadway if you can do so safely. It also recommends keeping your head above the window and covering it with blankets, gloves, and other cushioning items.

After being instructed to keep delivering packages, she replied that she would turn around. It was clear that she had no buildings in her immediate vicinity and radar indicated the tornado would be heading her direction within half an hours.

The dispatcher then instructed her to “stay exactly where you are,” and said that if she came back with packages in tow, it would count as “refusing your route” and she would be fired. At that point, the dispatcher also said the driver wouldn’t be able to get into the warehouse building anyway, since high winds had damaged the door, and that the driver needed to “shelter in place.”

The driver’s actions were not immediately known, but the woman survived.

Amazon condemned the dispatcher’s actions and said it was investigating the incident.

“This dispatcher should have immediately directed the driver to seek shelter when the driver reported hearing tornado sirens,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told Bloomberg News in a statement. The statement added that “under no circumstance” should the dispatcher have threatened the driver with a firing.

The text messages surfaced as Amazon faces other criticism over its safety protocols in the tornado’s wake. The vast majority of workers made it to the designated location for tornadoes. But some didn’t make it in time. Clayton Cope was 29 years old, the sister of one worker killed. told the BBC thatThe first siren was not sounded and workers weren’t told to go into shelter.

A worker stated that many needed to hide in the bathroom, where one individual died.

Crews use an excavator to pull down pieces of the damaged roof during search and rescue operations at the Amazon distribution center on Dec. 11.
The crew uses an excavator during rescue and search operations at Amazon’s distribution center in December 11.
Daniel Shular/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP

Amazon policies that prohibited workers from carrying cell phones onto its warehouse floors created controversy. Although the phone ban was removed when the pandemic started, some places have restored it, and others plan to reinstate it. according to CBS News. Edwardsville workers were permitted to use their phones. However, the incident highlights the importance of being able communicate with loved ones in the event of an emergency or to receive weather updates.

Amazon Warehouse was damaged by the tornado. massive storm systemThis tornado ripped through many states and produced severe winds. The destruction was catastrophic, leaving dozens of people dead and whole neighborhoods ― even an entire Kentucky town ― flattened.


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