The Daily Moth 9-11-17

September 12, 2017



Hurricane Irma Pounds Florida, Irma’s Impact on Deaf Community, Glide App to Delete Old Videos Unless You Pay for Storage, Equifax Data Breach Impacts 143 Million Customers




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, September 11. It has been 16 years since the 9/11 attacks. That was a terrible day, but we are stronger today. Ready for news? 




Hurricane Irma has left the state of Florida and is in the southeast U.S. as a tropical storm. It first made landfall in the Florida Keys — Cudjoe Key — on Sunday morning as a Category 4 storm. It then made its second landfall as a Category 3 storm in Marco Island Sunday afternoon, causing serious flooding. 


As it moved up the western shore of Florida, it weakened to a Cat 2., then to a Cat 1, and has passed over Florida and is now a tropical storm in the southeast U.S.


It’s caused several deaths, flooding, homes destroyed, wind damage, fallen trees, and downed power lines all over Florida, causing over 6 million people to be without electricity. 


Fortunately there are not reports of catastrophic damage to entire blocks of homes or cities. 


However, there is serious flooding in Jacksonville, Florida as they got 27 inches of rain in 24 hours. The St. Johns river, which flows upstream and out to the Atlantic Ocean, is “choked up” by the storm surge from Irma, which has caused it to spill over into downtown areas and neighborhoods, prompting more evacuations. The water is still rising and is threatening to damage hundreds of businesses and homes. 


There were some deaths during the storm. Yesterday morning a police officer and a corrections officer from Hardee County (near Tampa) died when they crashed their cars head-on into each other. 


The officer, Julie Bridges (42) had worked at a shelter and was driving home while the corrections officer, Joseph Ossman (53) was on his way to work at a prison. It was raining at the time, they crashed and died.


One person in the Florida Keys died when he tried to drive his truck carrying a generator through high winds and lost control. Before the storm, a man died by falling off a ladder when covering up his home’s windows. 


Before Irma hit Florida, it brushed across Cuba’s northern shore as a Category 5 storm. It causes serious damage and flooding in their capital city of Havana, killing at least 10 people. Their President Raul Castro said Irma caused severe damage to their country. 


Now here’s an update on Hurricane Jose — now a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds — it is in the Atlantic Ocean, 300 miles northeast of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Fortunately it did not directly hit islands in the Caribbean sea that were devastated by Irma. It is forecast be weaker and become a Cat. 1, do a loop, then head eastwards north of Bahamas and possibly “dissolve” into the ocean — but there is a small chance it could hit the U.S. or Canada. We will have this week to look at where it’s going. 




Here’s a notification for you who watch the Daily Moth on YouTube or via email subscriptions — I posted three videos over the weekend on Moth Facebook — an interview with Heidi Branch before the hurricane and two news updates about an unqualified “interpreter” for a Manatee County emergency conference. Check it out on Facebook. 




Here’s various news of Irma’s impact on Deaf Community: 


The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind campus in St. Augustine is closed today and tomorrow while officials inspect the campus. They have a Facebook page and they will update when the school can open for students. 


There is flooding in St. Augustine — Deaf man Tommy Mueller sent me a video he took of the downtown are yesterday as the hurricane was moving through. Check it out. 




See that couple still doing their wedding photos? Wow, that’s a Florida couple for sure.


Here is another video clip of Vilano Beach, which is the closest beach to FSDB. It’s from Jarija Todorovic. 




Wow, big waves, but good to see that they aren’t spilling over the dunes. 


Tommy did another video of what it looks like in downtown St. Augustine.




You can see that the waters have mostly receded — and a lot of fallen branches, some downed signs, and broken light posts. Thanks Tommy for sharing.


The Atlanta Area School for the Deaf and Georgia School for the Deaf is also closed today and tomorrow. 


South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind has no classes today. The North Carolina School for the Deaf will resume classes on Wednesday. 


The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is open, but school bus routes are cancelled today and tomorrow. 


There is a Facebook page named “Deaf Survivors of Hurricane Irma” — and it has many good updates and discussion, you can see how people are doing in different cities in Florida. 


On Saturday I interviewed Deaf woman Heidi Branch, who lives in the Tampa area and decided to stay and ride out the storm — she and her family are okay and her home is mostly undamaged except for a fallen fence. There is no power in her area — and we will do a follow-up interview when it comes back on. 


The Southwest Chapter of the Georgia Association of the Deaf announced that the Red Cross and Sorenson VRS has partnered to provide VPs in shelters, and that they will work with other shelters to install VPs there if necessary. So if you are without power and need a VP, you can use them. 


Now, I want to share some thoughts about sign language interpreters during the storm. There were many different interpreters, both deaf and hearing, who did a wonderful job translating various government leaders’ messages to the public. 


But there was huge criticism towards the Manatee County government when they did two press conferences with an unqualified interpreter — who is himself a lifeguard and knows some signs and how to fingerspell because he has a deaf brother. I’ve already provided you updates on previous Moth videos and I plan to follow up with the local government when they’re settled down. 


There's one thing that bothers me — some in the hearing media perceive those interpreters. One article in the New York Post posted an article with a clip of Deaf Interpreter Sam Harris interpreting for Gov. Scott. (Sam was doing a great job with the interpreting, being very expressive in translating). But the article said his signing was “theatrical” and that he “stole the show.” 


It is nothing new for the Deaf community — we are used to hearing media making a big deal out of interpreters during big storms or emergency situations. Hopefully the attention will be used to provide even more access in the future, rather than looking at it as a show.

Aside from that incident, it’s really good to see many government offices in Florida (and for Harvey here in Texas) taking Deaf people and ASL seriously. I hope to see that continue. 




The Glide app, popular in the Deaf community for its video messaging service, announced that the app would no longer store old video messages for free in its cloud storage. If you have Glide and go into your app, you’ll see your old chats with your friends and family that can go back for months or years. 


All of that will be wiped out by this Friday, September 15 — but if you want to save your old messages or videos, you can do an one-time file export to save them, but it is not free. You’ll have to pay $4.49 for the first 2,000 messages you want to save, and then it’l’l be 99 cents for each additional 1,000 messages. 


You will have to go to, sign in, and then select the videos you want to keep. After you pay via online credit card, you will get a link where you can view/save the video messages. 


Glide will remain free as it has been since, just that your messages will not be saved. They will remain there for 14 days, and after that they will be deleted by themselves. 


So, if you don’t care about your old messages, there’s no need to worry, but if you want to save them, it’ll cost you. 




Last Thursday Equifax, the credit monitoring company, announced that there was a massive data breach in which 143 million people could have their private information, including their SS numbers, birth dates, addresses, drivers’ licenses, or credit card numbers hacked. Some of the information is being sold online. 


You can check if your information was impacted by going to and then clicking on the “Check Potential Impact.” You’ll have to put in your last name and the last 6 digits of your SS number. If there’s no impact, you’ll get a message saying there’s no impact. 


But if Equifax thinks your information was impacted, they will tell you in the popup box. 


Either way, Equifax is providing one year of free service for their TrustedId Premier, their credit monitoring service, to “support” you in case anybody uses your information to steal your identity. 


But if you sign up for this one-year service, as part of their conditions, you might not be able to sue them. Many criticized Equifax over this, and they recently announced that if you write a letter to them within 30 days, you can opt out of that condition. 


There is now a huge class-action lawsuit that wants Equifax to pay $70 billion for their mistake. 




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light! 

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