Phase Two

Hello everyone, remember my Looking to Hire Another Writer post? Enter “Calamity Jane.” There were a lot of good writers/preppers that responded to the post, many more than I anticipated. It was nice having a good selection to choose from. Calamity stood out for a few reasons: 1) she’s a woman, so she’s bringing a different perspective; 2) she knows about areas of prepping that Jarhead and I do not; 3) she seems to be a decent writer; and 4) she was already familiar with blogging.

Welcome to SHTF Blog, Calamity.

– Ranger Man

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Phase one: Prep
Phase two: ?
Phase three: Survive and Thrive*

Everyone likes to ignore Phase two. Phase one is fun, exciting and no one gets hurt. Three is all about the future and has it’s own rewards. Phase two though, its messy, it’s full of grays and sometimes it’s more work than you really want to do.

Phase two is when you’re trying to keep up a decent life with a lot less of everything. Phase two is dodging the flood waters and job loss in the same year. Phase two is building your own underground house, in your spare time between jobs, (while living with your mother).

Yea, I prep. I’ve got the beans and the bullets and quite a few bandaids. But, there’s a difference between *having* preps and *using* preps. There’s a difference between 100 gallons of water a day, and 10. There’s a difference between seeds in a sealed can and food on the table all winter. That difference is Phase two.

What I will be bringing to to SHTF is a lot of boots on the ground advice about Phase Two. I’m a mother and a wife, employed as a computer engineer in the manufacturing industry. I prefer to manage the transition as gracefully as possible from our current on-the-grid lifestyle to the realities we’ll face when the grid is down, be it temporary or permanent. And not the wishful thinking “realities” of a perfectly stocked bunker on paid for land with a few close buddies. I’m talking about the messy realities of life in the home we have now, with the neighbors we only half like, preps that have gaps in spite of our best intentions, and the 2 year old who wants dinner. Realities that you can’t shoot your way out of.  The way I see it, grace under pressure requires practice, and flexibility. I’m comfortable with tillers and will use one if it’s offered, but I’m equally content to use a hoe; I know I’ll need those muscles and callouses. I have a perfectly good stove top, but cooking meals on an open fire is something I do for fun. As with any skill set, there are tricks and tools that make things truly easier and it’s better to learn them now before they are needed in an emergency. I’m hoping some of you will be encouraged to try more of them. After all, we prep to survive, let’s not forget the second step.

– Calamity Jane

* Bonus points if you know the South Park episode that inspired the opening. Big Hint: Underpants gnomes.