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Maryland leads the U.S. in many ways. Baltimore is home to one of the country’s best-known universities, Johns Hopkins University, and most respected hospitals, Johns Hopkins Hospital. It is no wonder that, from 2009 through 2018, Maryland ranked among America’s top states in the quality of its public education. Maryland also holds its place in American history, hosting the presidential retreat, Camp David, and the home of The Star Spangled Banner, Fort McHenry.

Maryland is also extraordinary in its geographic diversity. Although the country imagines mid-Atlantic states being uniformly cold and wet, annual snowfall in Maryland varies from about ten inches along the coast to over 80 inches in the western hills. However, even the coast is not immune to huge snowstorms. In 2016, Baltimore was hit with over two feet of snow in just 24 hours.

Snowstorms can strike quickly and unexpectedly. Knowledge can make a difference between experiencing a disaster and, literally and metaphorically, weathering the storm. Here are three steps to stay safe during snowstorms.

Prepare Before the Storm

As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It is often the preventative measures that you take that will have the most lasting effects. In fact, forecasts of disasters often create shortages of everything from bottled water to toilet paper. If you wait to prepare until a snowstorm is in the forecast, you may be unable to find any of the supplies that you need.

The American Red Cross suggests having enough food and water on hand for two to three days. Your emergency supplies should also include any necessary medications, flashlights, batteries, tools, first aid kits, and cell phones.

Also, remember to prepare with supplies for your family, home, and pets. You should stockpile diapers and pet food in case heavy snow prevents you from leaving the house. You will also need a source of heat, in the event that you lose access to electricity, natural gas, or heating oil during a blizzard. If you have a fireplace, you may want to stock up on firewood. If you do not, a generator and a supply of gasoline may be used to power an electric space heater during a winter emergency.

Speaking of gasoline, it may be worthwhile for you to keep your car’s fuel tank close to full. If you need to be evacuated or if gasoline deliveries are delayed by winter weather, you need to have enough gasoline in your tank for emergency situations. Keep in mind that you may use more gasoline than you expect during an evacuation due to heavy traffic. Inrix, a data company, has found that the average American commuter wastes 42 hours in traffic per year. This translates to $1,400 in wasted gas. If you face packed roads during an evacuation, you can be sure that you’ll use more gas than you do in your average morning commute.

Many cities have well-developed emergency plans. It may be worthwhile researching these plans and finding out where emergency evacuation centers are planned. These emergency centers can become places where you can find warmth, food, and shelter during a severe weather event, such as a blizzard or ice storm.

If you still find yourself on the road when the snow starts, seek out a member of your local law enforcement. About 72% of all state patrol vehicles have in-car video systems that can help keep a record of any emergency you have on the road. These videos can prove very useful if you seek insurance claims for car damages once the storm has passed.

Stay Inside During the Storm

During the storm, you will likely need to stay inside where you are sheltered from cold temperatures, wind, snow, and ice. Remember that even in cold weather, everyone, including your pets, need to stay hydrated and fed.

If you are having trouble keeping warm, watch for signs of hypothermia:

  • Shivering
  • Disorientation
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination

In children and seniors, hypothermia can start and progress quickly because their bodies have more difficulty regulating temperature. If you or a family member experiences hypothermia, it is essential to warm up because continued loss of body heat can be fatal.

Conversely, if you do have a source of warmth that burns fuel, you need to be aware of signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Specifically, if you are running a generator, burning wood, or using a propane or natural gas burner to keep warm, the combustion by-products can include carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause permanent brain damage or even death. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headaches, loss of consciousness, confusion, difficulty breathing, and blurry vision. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, make sure that any combustion gases are vented through a chimney, window, or doorway.

When you experience health emergencies during a major snowstorm, you may want to seek out an evacuation shelter if you cannot reach a hospital. In 2018, hundreds of volunteers and temporary employees were deployed by the National Disaster Medical System and the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to ten Health and Human Services regions across the country.

Clean Up After the Storm

After the storm has passed, some dangers will still remain. Storms can damage tree branches or weigh them down with snow and ice. Looking for broken trees and tree branches and cutting them down can reduce the risk of injury or property damage if they break unexpectedly. You may also want to inspect nearby power lines and utility poles and report any damage to your local utility company.

Similarly, ice and snow on your roof can create a risk of a cave-in depending on the volume and weight. Once the storm has ended, you can remove this snow and ice from your roof using a snow shovel, taking care to avoid slipping from the icy roof.

Likewise, sidewalks, driveways, and walkways can become slippery hazards from snow, ice, slush, and runoff. About 22% of slip and fall accidents are serious enough that the victim requires more than 31 days away from work. To reduce this danger, you can use ice-melting chemicals or a good, old fashioned shovel to remove snow and ice from pavement.

Surviving a snowstorm can be easy with a bit of planning. Prepare before the storm by stockpiling supplies and emergency items. During the storm, stay warm and make sure to vent any combustion gases. After the storm, clean up any broken or weighed-down branches and accumulated snow and ice on sidewalks and roofs.


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  • 1.Why did Trump choose to hide certain specific files and not others at Mar-a-Lago? What were the criteria that Trump used to keep some files concealed and not others? Who selected those files? Did Trump consult or direct anyone in his selection of secret files? Trump was notorious for being too impatient to read his briefing papers, even after they had been drastically shortened and simplified. Is there the slightest evidence that he spirited these papers away so that he could consult or study them? Who besides Trump knew of the presence of the files he had concealed at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 2. Mar-a-Lago has an infamous reputation for being open to penetration even by foreign spies. In 2019, the FBI arrested a Chinese woman who had entered the property with electronic devices. She was convicted of trespassing, lying to the Secret Service, and sentenced and served eight-months in a federal prison, before being deported to China. Have other individuals with possible links to foreign intelligence operations been present at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 3. Did members of Trump's Secret Service detail have knowledge of his secret storage of the files at Mar-a-Lago? What was the relationship of the Secret Service detail to the FBI? Did the Secret Service, or any agent, disclose information about the files to the FBI?
  • 4. Trump's designated representatives to the National Archives are Kash Patel and John Solomon, co-conspirators in the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, the Ukraine missiles-for-political dirt scandal that led to the first impeachment in 2019, and the coup of 2020. Neither has any professional background in handling archival materials. Patel, a die-hard Trump loyalist whose last job in the administration was as chief of staff to the Acting Secretary of Defense, was supposedly involved in Trump’s “declassification” of some files. Patel has stated, “Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves."
  • The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified.” If Pat Cipollone, the White House legal counsel, did not “generate the paperwork,” was he or anyone on his staff aware at all of the declassifications? The White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons resigned his post in December 2020. Did his successor, who held the position for a month, while Trump was consumed with plotting his coup, ever review the material found in Trump’s concealed files for declassification? Or did Patel review the material? Can Patel name any individual who properly reviewed the supposed declassification?
  • 5. Why did Trump keep his pardon of Roger Stone among his secret files? Was it somehow to maintain leverage over Stone? What would that leverage be? Would it involve Stone's role as a conduit with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers during the coup? Or is there another pardon in Trump’s files for Stone, a secret pardon for his activities in the January 6th insurrection? Because of the sweeping nature of the pardon clause, pardons can remain undisclosed (until needed). Pardons are self-executing, require no justification and are not subject to court review beyond the fact of their timely execution. In other words, a court may verify the pardon was valid in time but has no power to review appropriateness. A pardon could even be oral but would need to be verifiable by a witness. Do the files contain secret pardons for Trump himself, members of his family, members of the Congress, and other co-conspirators?
  • 6.Was the FBI warrant obtained to block the imminent circulation or sale of information in the files to foreign powers? Does the affidavit of the informant at Mar-a-Lago, which has not been released, provide information about Trump’s monetization that required urgency in executing the warrant? Did Trump monetize information in any of the files? How? With whom? Any foreign power or entity? Was the Saudi payment from its sovereign wealth fund for the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club for a service that Trump rendered, an exchange of anything of value or information that was in the files? If it involved information in the files was it about nuclear programs? Was it about the nuclear program of Israel? How much exactly was the Saudi payment for the golf tournament? The Saudi sovereign wealth fund gave Jared Kushner and former Trump Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin $2 billion for their startup hedge fund, Affinity Partners. Do the Saudis regard that investment as partial payment for Trump’s transfer of nuclear information? Were Kushner or Mnuchin aware of the secret files at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 7.Did Trump destroy any of the files? If so, when? Did those files contain incriminating information? Did he destroy any files after he received the June subpoena?
  • 8.Were any of the secrets of our allies compromised? Has the U.S. government provided an inventory of breaches or potential breaches to our allies?
  • 9.Does the resort maintain a copying machine near the classified documents that Trump hid? Were any of the documents copied or scanned? Are Trump’s documents at Mar-a-Lago originals or copies? Were any copies shown or given to anyone?
  • 10.Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb has revealed that a video surveillance system covers the places where Trump hid the files at Mar-a-Lago, and that the system is connected to a system at his other residences at the Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey and Trump Tower in New York City. According to Bobb, Trump and members of his family observed the FBI search and seizure of his files at Mar-a-Lago, “actually able to see the whole thing” through their surveillance system. Who has that surveillance system recorded entering the rooms where the files were kept?

Kevin Bacon, right, in "The Following"

The aftermath of the August 8, 2022 search of the Mar-a-Lago club, former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, isn’t the first showdown between the FBI and a cult leader.

The Following, a 2013 Fox Pictures series, played out in similar fashion. Three seasons was enough for the producers and it’s been nine years since our introduction to Joe Carroll, English professor-novelist-serial killer, so there’s a spoiler risk -- but not enough to prevent the comparison.

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