Texas811 is the non-profit “call 811 before you dig” entity in Texas. We have over 1500 members throughout the state, from the largest to the smallest utilities, and including many municipalities. You would think that just the day to day operation of keeping utilities and municipalities in the loop on proposed digs would be enough to keep us busy – but no.
Texas811 is primarily a damage prevention organization. In order to fulfill that mission, we do a lot of education and traveling in the state. A lot.
Here’s a view from the road.
Friday, October 16. Texas811 sponsors a hole at the 16th Annual Hispanic Contractors de San Antonio charity golf tournament in San Antonio. We had a table set up at the tee box and handed out safe digging information, bumper stickers, brochures, key chains, and color code cards for identifying the locator flags and spray paint colors people see on job site. You might think that spending a day on a golf course is a lot of fun, and yes, it was. Of course, I forgot to bring an umbrella…and after about seven hours out in the sun – ouch. Still, we refreshed a lot of contractors on 811, and introduced others to why they need to call 811.
Saturday, October 17. Texas811 and Atmos Energy were joined by Heath Locating at Vista Oaks HOA in Round Rock, Texas for a family safety day.
Williamson County Emergency Responders were on hand showing off equipment and vehicles, there were educational displays about smoke alarms and the types of buried pipe carrying natural gas, there was a live demonstration of two guys digging a fence post who hit a buried gas line, plus a kids jump house and coffee and donuts and Texas811 snow cones to fuel it all – plus some Halloween candy!
Our goal was to show homeowners the right way to call 811 FIRST to get underground utilities located for free BEFORE digging. Excavating without calling 811 first is a fineable offense in Texas – and many homeowners don’t believe that the need to call 811 applies to them if they are putting in a fence or a mailbox or anything else requiring digging.
Texas811 and Atmos Energy handed out plenty of fun items, including our snow cones, key chains, as well as temporary tattoos and wristbands for the kids.
When the event ended, a smoke alarm display was donated to the fire department, who said they could put them to good use for needy families.
That’s what damage prevention awareness is all about. Entities like Texas811 and Atmos Energy aren’t just non-profits and big businesses – we’re also integral members of the communities we serve, and share a common goal of keeping people safe on the job and at home.
These two events are just a small part of the many events, large – with up to 600 people attending – and small that Texas811 participates in every week throughout the state. This week, for instance, we are in Austin again, in Corpus Christi, and in College Station.
And so it goes. We just can’t wait to get on the road again!
Hit it, Willie! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TD_pSeNelU
Until next week, safe digging!