A panel of elected officials, journalists and scholars to discussed the events and circumstances surrounding Hurricane Ike. Before the hurricane roared ashore in the early morning hours on Sept. 13, 2008, Gulf Coast residents in some areas were warned of “certain death” if they did not evacuate. And the damage was indeed catastrophic and deadly. Ike left its mark as the costliest storm in Texas history, with initial damage estimates as high as $22 billion. Approximately 75 percent of the homes in Galveston were damaged, and the streets of downtown Houston were filled with glass that was blown out of the windows of its office towers. Almost as painful as the initial landfall was the agonizing recovery process that left many victims frustrated and angry with the federal government. 

So what lessons were learned? Could the loss of life and property been minimized? Could the recovery effort been improved? Panel members Paul Burka (senior executive editor, Texas Monthly), Edward P. Djerejian (director, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy), Joan Neuhaus Schaan (fellow, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy), Bill White (mayor, Houston), and Lyda Ann Thomas (mayor, Galveston) examined what can be done now to lessen the impact of Texas’s next killer storm. W

atch the live Web cast.