When a person is in a blizzard, the real question is, how long can one survive before hypothermia and freezing to death. Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Once the temperature continues to drop, the heart and respiratory system cannot work and can eventually fail. Dependent on the tempertaure, this may not take very long, sometimes as short as two hours.
If someone caught in a blizzard has their wits about them, they can build a shelter in the implied snow. Being out of the effects of wind chill can greatly increase their time for, or probability of surviving. There is a risk in building a shelter out of snow however–not knowing when the blizzard will end may cause them to be trapped in an ice tomb of their own making, or reduce their chances of being found. Still, it’s possible to construct something and survive if trapped out in a blizzard, and once it goes away, given enough planning and calm, displacing snow to climb out of a snowed-in shelter is probably possible.
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