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Keeping personal info safe after Matthew

ST. AUGUSTINE – Cleanup continues as the St. Johns County community is still reeling from the devastation of hurricane Matthew, and while many start to rebuild, there are things to consider to protect personal information.

Dozens of families in the Davis Shores neighborhood are struggling to get by after the historic flooding. On top of clean up, there's the added stress that their valuables and personal information could be stolen.

Gina Hull said she's had to dry out and shred most of her personal documents.

"We did have a lot of personal items and papers that had my social security numbers on there," Hull said.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said when evacuating or recovering from a disaster, it’s important to take all those documents and stay up to date with personal bank accounts.

“One thing people can do 60 days from now is to do a credit check, view your credit history with all three of the credit bureaus to see if anyone did steal your identity and try to open a line of credit, do it now and then about in another 60 days.”

Smith advises people be aware of those coming through the area in the midst of the chaos.

“Check the identification of people that are coming through the neighborhood, even if they say they are from FEMA, check their laminated ID or from a power company because sometimes people will wear fake company uniforms to give the impression that they are there with JEA," Smith said.

Smith said the other concern is personal property left outside due to renovations. He advises to keep those belongings off the street and secure.