COVID-19 Impact Updates
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, June 1, 2020
FROM THE DESK OF CHRIS STOVALL
Governor Abbot has started a phased approach to reopening
the state. Many businesses are opening their doors for the first
time in a while. While some are eager to get back to normal,
others are taking a wait and see approach. At Texas811, we
are 99% work from home. We have remained operational
throughout and have seen our excavation notification volumes
What the rest of the year holds for our economy, a recovery and
our health is difficult to pin down. We have taken measures to
ensure Texas811 remains operational no matter what conditions we
encounter. We have spent the last several months reinforcing our
operational, technological, and financial stability and are ready to
serve our members and the state through and past this pandemic.
We are inspired by the commitment our members have to damage
prevention and public safety during this time. I am optimistic that
our pursuit of driving the damage numbers down and our 811
awareness numbers up will continue to see progress as we work
together to achieve this goal.
President & CEO
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, May 18, 2020
We Got It Wrong
We proudly told you last week about significant increases in Homeowner ticket requests. We reported incomplete data.
The figures we provided last week were accurate for Homeowner tickets requested through our online Portal. But that’s not the whole story.
To get the whole story we have to combine Homeowner tickets requested through the Portal with Homeowner tickets that were called in. When you look at both sources, the increase between April 2019 and April 2020 was 131%. A total of 22,492 Homeowners requested locate tickets last month.
We apologize for reporting incomplete data last week, and are happy to share the complete data with you this week.
The overall takeaway is the same. Texas homeowners responded to messages from multiple industry stakeholders reminding them to Call 811 Before they Dug.
And, again. Let’s all keep up the good work!
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, May 11, 2020
Homeowner Requested Tickets Increased by 151% in April
With so many Texans spending much more time at home, we knew there would be an increase in homeowner DIY projects. And we wondered if increased messages to homeowners to Call 811 before they began those projects would be successful.
We now know the answer. Texas homeowners heard those messages and responded. More than 9100 homeowners requested locate tickets last month.
We want to thank all the industry stakeholders whose messages also encouraged homeowners to Call 811 before they dug. And we want to thank homeowners who called 811 so they could complete their projects safely.
Let’s all keep up the good work!
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, May 4, 2020
Texas811 has remained fully operational with employees working from home since mid-March.
As Texas’ statewide shelter-in-place restrictions expire, we want to share our plans moving forward.
We plan to reopen our office in mid-May for employees who want to return to the office. About 15% of our employees have expressed a desire to work in office which allows plenty of space for working from a safe distance. There will be precautions in place to make sure everyone remains safe. The rest of our staff will continue to work remotely.
Our Damage Prevention Managers, who spend a great deal of their time in the field meeting with Members and excavators, will gradually return to the field after a four-week waiting period to ensure the removal of the shelter-in-place orders does not result in an uptick of covid-19 cases.
Online training and training webinars will continue and be integrated with in-person training over time.
When in-person meetings resume, they will strictly follow CDC guidelines and be in accordance with any city or county regulations that may be more restrictive than state guidelines.
Travel will be limited to roundtrips that can be completed in a single day.
Throughout the recovery period, Texas811’s goal remains meeting the needs of all 811 stakeholders while making sure that everyone is safe.
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, April 27, 2020
Damaging underground utilities is more than inconvenient, especially when the results are loss of service, unwanted fines or, worse, injury. It can also delay finishing work projects depending on the severity of the damage.
Fence work is responsible for more than 30% of damages to underground lines, especially when the work is conducted without having the underground utilities marked first.
A post hole digger can cut telecommunication and electrical lines. A mechanical post hole digger can puncture water and gas pipelines. Some damages have even been caused by hand tools such as a shovel.
You may think that contacting 811 before you begin work is inconvenient or will slow you down. Responding to a damaged underground utility will take longer and could ruin your reputation.
Do you part in keeping Texas safe. It takes a community to ensure safety. We really are all in this together.
Contact 811 two-business days before you begin digging. Now more than ever, every dig counts.
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, April 20, 2020
Erecting Tents and Temporary Structures, even for Medical Purposes, Require a Call to 811
An emergency medical facility isn’t going to help patients if vital utility lines are cut by the stakes used to erect it. A tent stake is capable of cutting underground telecommunication and electrical lines and puncturing holes in water and gas pipelines. Mechanical equipment used to level ground before building a temporary structure can also damage underground utilities. This can be avoided by contacting 811 first.
Constructing an emergency medical facility may meet the requirements for an Emergency Locate ticket, which would allow you to bypass the two-business day waiting period. If you believe your excavation is an emergency excavation, tell the Damage Prevention Agent when you call 811.
Don’t accidentally disable underground utilities by forgetting to contact 811 before you begin work on temporary or emergency medical tents and structures. Now more than ever, every dig counts.
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, April 13, 2020
The people who keep our utilities operating are our heroes. While many of us are working from home, these crews are in the field keeping our lights on, our phones ringing, our TVs blaring, and our water flowing.
They are our heroes.
And it is our responsibility to keep them safe.
How? By always contacting 811 two business days before digging. Every time.
Now more than ever, every dig counts.
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, April 9, 2020
Telecommunications are our lifelines. They are our primary link to emergency services, they are how we stay in touch with friends and family, and they’re how excavators contact Texas811 to request a locate and how we alert utilities to those requests.
With so many Texans working from home, we are relying on our telecommunication networks more than ever. In some areas, they are stretched to the limit.
That’s why damage to a telecommunication line can be devastating right now.
Half of all utility lines damaged in Texas are telecommunication lines. And right now, a damaged telecommunication line can be critical.
Please help us ensure that we are all digging safely and promoting the use of the 811 system to ensure our vital underground infrastructure is not compromised.
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, April 6, 2020
Construction has been declared an essential business by Governor Abbott. This means excavation in Texas continues at close to normal levels. Contacting 811 two-business days before excavating is more important than ever.
Please help us to ensure that we are all digging safely and promoting the use of the 811 system to ensure our vital underground infrastructure is not compromised.
Remember these important safety tips:
You may experience some delays in getting your worksite marked. But please, do not begin excavating until your worksite fully marked.
Respect the locator’s marks. If your work area extends beyond the original area you requested to have marked, request another locate. This isn’t the time to think digging a few inches beyond the marks won’t matter.
White-line* your work area for the locators. Texas811 data shows that dig sites that were white lined have half the damages of worksites that were not white-lined. This is an excellent time to begin white lining all excavations.
Loss of gas, telecommunications, electricity or water service could severely hamper public safety. Please do your part to contact 811 two-business days before you dig. And, please dig safely.
*White-lining is the process excavators use to mark the perimeter of their worksite prior to it being located, usually with white paint of flags. It allows the locators to see the exact boundaries of the worksite to ensure they locate all of the necessary work area, and in some situations, shortens the time required on site by the locator.
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, March 31, 2020
March 31, 2020
URGENT NOTICE TO ALL EXCAVATORS & UTILITES
A joint message from The One-Call Board of Texas, Texas811 and the Texas811 Board of Directors
SPREAD THE WORD....NOW MORE THAN EVER
PROTECT VITAL UNDERGROUND UTILITIES
Now, more than ever, Contact 811 before Every Dig. Preventing damage to our vital utility infrastructure is particularly important during these uncertain times. We don’t want to increase the burden on anyone through preventable utility outages.
Here’s what you need to know now:
The 811 phone number is fully functional, Texas811 is fully staffed, operational and ready to process your locate requests. To assist the Texas811 call center, you can request locates online using our Portal by going to www.Texas811.org.
Locators, like all of us, are experiencing stretched and reduced workforces which may impact their response time in locating your worksite. But please, do not begin excavating until your site has been fully marked and expect some delays.
Respect the locator’s marks. If your work area extends beyond the original area you requested to have marked, request another locate. This isn’t the time to fudge and think digging a few inches beyond the marks won’t matter.
White line* your work area for the locators. Texas811 data shows that dig sites that were white lined have half the damages of worksites that were not white lined. This is an excellent time to begin white lining all excavations.
*White lining is the process excavators use to mark the perimeter of their worksite prior to it being located, usually with white paint or flags. It allows locators to see the exact boundaries of the worksite to ensure they locate all of the necessary work area and, in some situations, shortens the time required on site by the locator.
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, March 23, 2020
Texas811 is following Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order that prohibits groups of more than 10 people. Our contact center and administrative activities are fully operational and being conducted by employees working from home.
We’d like to remind everyone that contacting 811 before you dig remains vital. We don’t want to increase the burden by inadvertently causing outages to our critical utility infrastructure.
Texas811 has cancelled all in-person training until restrictions on public meetings have been lifted.
Executive orders restricting movement and non-essential work vary county by county. Please go to your county’s website to see the restrictions that may pertain to you.
Texas811 COVID-19 Status, March 19, 2020
Our contact center and administrative activities are operating normally.
We are experiencing only minor decreases in ticket volume.
No additional utilities have declared Extraordinary Circumstances.
All Texas811 employees are able to work in safe environments.
A Message from Texas811 President and CEO, March 16, 2020
Texas811’s first priority during these uncertain times is the safety of everyone involved. Our goal is to minimize exposure while staying operational.
Thankfully, we have the ability to continue operating. Our call center is taking and processing calls, our web Portal is operational and our entire staff is available to answer any questions and to address any concerns.
Most of our employees are telecommuting from home this week. We are actively working to ensure the remainder of our employees also have the ability to work from home.
Texas811 plays a critical role in public safety and we understand our members and excavators are counting on us to protect their infrastructure and keep everyone safe. Texas811 will keep our operations going and continue with our mission.
You can be assured that we will be able to provide the same level of service as always and we are here ready to help in any way.
President and CEO