Destrehan High School teacher Meagan Stock knew she needed a plan after Hurricane Ida caused extensive damage to her home.
“We lost everything … basically everything,” she said. “The kitchen was spared, but the rest of everything was gone.”
Stock said she was faced with an unsettling reality after assessing her insurance policies.
“Unfortunately when I bought the home it was a foreclosure, so the coverage was so low,” she said. “I refinanced during COVID and they didn’t do a walk through and up coverage. My contents … the policy didn’t even cover like one-sixth of my contents. Once I talked to insurance and figured out what they were giving me, I knew I need to make it last.”
With the hopes of making insurance money stretch as far as it can, Stock and her 9-year-old son Kael have become a construction crew of sorts as they have worked to demo and now rebuild their Destrehan home. The Stocks are operating under the watchful eye of their supervisor with whom they share a last name – and family tree.
“My dad Gerry Stock has worked in construction and maintenance his whole life,” Stock said. “We wouldn’t be able to do anything if it wasn’t for him teaching us along the way. Once he teaches me how to do it, it’s like, ‘Come on Kael.’ The other day I learned how to run ducts in the attic and cut a hole in the ceiling to put in a vent.”
Stock said Kael has found his favorite home improvement step.
“He really likes hitting walls,” she said laughing. “He loves to put holes in the wall.”
The three generations of family members have been working side by side by side as they tackle the home renovations.
“In the future we’ll know how to do if we ever have to do it again,” Stock said of she and Kael. “Its teaching Kael a work ethic and showing him how to take care of our home … he’s the man of our home. I think that him being able to see me as a woman do the work as well … I think it’ll give him a new appreciation for what women can do.”
The mother and son duo are currently living in a trailer in their front yard. In the days following Hurricane Ida, they moved to an apartment in Baton Rouge and Stock enrolled Kael in a school there so she could commute back and forth to St. Charles Parish for work.
“There have been a lot of tears and a lot of love,” she said of the months following Hurricane Ida. “It’s amazing to see how people – some that you don’t even know – are just willing to help even though they may have lost some things and along the way they are still willing to help people at their lowest point. It says a lot about our parish and our community. It’s so amazing to see everyone come together and help each together. Hopefully this is a lesson the kids can learn and carry on as well.”
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