Jose Mendez

Jose Manuel Mendez has lived in Houston, TX since his birth in 1980. In 2008, Mendez experienced a power outage for two weeks due to Hurricane Ike, otherwise his experience with storms were mild. Hurricane Harvey taught Mendez about the tragedies and consequences of horrific storms. The first day Harvey hit Houston, Mendez noticed that flooding reached the end of the street he lived on. Mendez and his son began helping neighbors elevate their vehicles out of the water, as the water quickly rose from ankles to knees.

The Mendez family then quickly evacuated their home. Unfortunately, there was no space in the car for Mendez to take their Labrador retriever, so he put food on the floor for him and planned to return for him the next day. Mendez recalls the damaged state of his house when he returned, remembering that the water reached two to three feet high. For months after Harvey, the Mendez family lived in a townhouse, with their church paying rent for the first few months. After a few months of repairing the damage to their home, the Mendez family moved back in once it was livable. Mendez speaks on his experience being interviewed with Univision and the emotional toll Harvey took on him. Mendez finishes the interview discussing what #HOUSTONSTRONG means to him, how he will prepare for future storms, and advises anyone who experiences a similar situation to take it a day at a time and continue moving forward.