Amazon Drivers Still Had To Deliver Packages During Tropical Storm Hilary

Despite how things were being reported, California was largely spared during Tropical Storm Hilary. There was record rainfall, enough to bring nearly all of the state out of drought conditions. Desert and mountain areas were hit the hardest by flooding. You’d think, though, that with the rain and flooding that some areas were having, services like package delivery would be delayed. Not so with Amazon. Vice reports that Amazon drivers were made to deliver packages during the storm.

From anonymous Reddit posts and drivers who interviewed under anonymity with Vice, a picture was painted of drivers who were out working in various parts of Southern California during the storm. One driver described how tough and scary it was being on the roads during the storm.

It was tough being on the road. I kept in contact every so often with my family because they were genuinely praying for us. Most of us are kids. It never rains in Southern California, it is extremely rare. That said, most of us did not know how to drive well in the rain, let alone a hurricane. And for many of us, we have off-road mountain routes. It was stressful.

Other drivers were gathering on a delivery service partner subreddit to check whether or not other drivers in the area were working, or to get an idea of what exactly was going on.

“CA drivers, are you working with Hilary. DSP said Amazon didn’t tell them any regulations or changes for the storm, but they told us they’re making us do what we don’t feel ‘safe’ to do,” one Reddit user posted.

Another driver said that while the storm conditions weren’t as bad as they were being made out to be, it was “pretty messed up” that they were out working in the storm, saying that they had deliveries that were right near an evacuation route.

Another driver described how Amazon preached about driver safety during the storm, talking about about obeying traffic signs all while encouraging drivers “to try our best to deliver anyway, and at minimum, we had to ‘call-text-call’ the customer.”

And what does Amazon have to say about this? In a statement to Vice, a spokesperson for the company essentially admitted that they’re going to have drivers work no matter what:

An Amazon spokesperson told Motherboard that it stays in close contact with DSPs about potentially unsafe weather, and that workers deliver “only as long as it’s safe to deliver.” That being said, even if a state of emergency is declared, workers may continue to deliver as Amazon adjusts operations in response to inclement weather such as by changing or canceling routes, closing sites, or advising drivers to take shelter.

The safety and wellbeing of our employees, contractors, and partners is always our top priority,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “When it comes to severe weather events, we have comprehensive policies and procedures to monitor and react to weather events across the world. Depending on the situation, we’re able to adjust route lengths, cancel routes entirely or even close delivery stations and recommend that Delivery Service Partners call their drivers off the road.