On Sept. 13, 2008, the costliest storm ever to make landfall in Texas struck near Galveston. Today, almost five years later at a conference at University of Houston, Hurricane Ike still has people discussing lessons learned. “It took out all of our primary utilities systems, flooded a million square feet of our space and so basically, it took us out of business for a rather extended period of time,” said Marcel Blanchard, assistant vice president of utilities operations at UTMB. Now, as the peak of this hurricane season nears, their new mantra is elevate, protect and have energy security. “Critical services will be elevated. We will be non-reliant on municipal utilities,” Blanchard said. The news also appears on KUHF-FM (88.7, Houston Public Radio).