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


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.

14 comments… add one
  • Jarhead Survivor July 5, 2011, 8:23 am

    Welcome aboard CJ! Sounds like you’ve got a real down-to-Earth style and I look forward to reading your posts.

    BTW: Southpark –>

  • Prepared N.D. July 5, 2011, 8:32 am

    I like the way you think Calamity! This blog just keeps getting better and better. Congratulations to all of you.

  • gat31 July 5, 2011, 9:00 am

    Wow Congrats and welcome! Finally someone to relate to the “phase 2” aspect of prepping life too. I look forward to this site every morning when l get up and now it just got even better!

  • Odd Questioner July 5, 2011, 9:30 am


    Excellent points about keeping in practice… and as long as nobody starts making references to Mr. Towlie, no problems. :)

  • Calamity Jane July 5, 2011, 10:13 am

    Jarhead, that’s the scene! I don’t know why it immediately made me think of prepping, but it did.

    Thanks Prepared, this blog is rapidly becoming one of my favorites.

    Thanks gat, OQ, I can probably avoid Towlie. lol

  • Kristi July 5, 2011, 2:34 pm

    As a woman prepper and a mom, I completely identify with you and am thrilled about your arrival to SHTFblog! Welcome!! Can’t wait read more. God Bless! Kristi

  • angela July 5, 2011, 3:17 pm

    Great work SHTF, at last, a woman. So tired of all these prep sites that offer ”ME, MAN–YOU,woman!!” Congrats Calamity, 1st I like the name– women know how to be calmities, because we are used to being jugglers and when ya gotta stir things up to get things done, well….you know! :-D I really liked your comment about cooking on an open fire. Here in Italy do that as well, ’cause when the grid goes down I’ll still need that lasagna. So GOOD LUCK !!!

  • Jan July 5, 2011, 4:30 pm

    Gotta go to work, gotta work all day…. ;p

  • irishdutchuncle July 5, 2011, 5:56 pm

    greetings, Calamity Jane.

  • Apartment Prepper July 5, 2011, 9:36 pm

    Congratulations and welcome Calamity Jane! Nice post. Just experienced cooking oven an open fire for the first time, it’s not as easy as I thought. Hard to gauge those cooking times. I look forward to phase two type articles.

  • T.R July 6, 2011, 1:12 am

    Welcome aboard ! Look forward to another slant on what we do . They have done a great job with this site and this will make whats good even better .

  • CollegeMech July 6, 2011, 6:26 am

    Welcome from a long-time reader and infrequent commenter! ;-)

  • Calamity Jane July 6, 2011, 9:01 am

    Thanks y’all, I appreciate the warm welcome!

  • T.R July 7, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Its a good thing to have a female writer on board now , why ? I read a lot of survival blogs , and almost NOWHERE are written the things that women will need to consider in a SHTF or total meltdown situation . Things like contraception , sex , childbirth without a doctor or hospital in that kind of situation . SC just put up an article for women on this topic . There needs to be more ! Most of us are men ……so that means our understanding of certain things will be limited . Unless your a fudgepacker , we all have wives or girlfriends that we plan to hold onto and want to keep healthy . Weather they are into prepping with us or not , they need the information . Calamity Jane’s input will be very valuable in this avenue .


Leave a Comment