A bird in the hand……..

By “The Coach” (Contributing Editor)


          I remember when I was growing up being told the old cliché;

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

This simply means it is better to have something in your possession than to plan on getting that item at a later date.

I have often used this analogy when I am working on my prepping. I try NOT to plan on a resource that I do not have. What do I mean?

Not having food, water, firearms or ammunition, etc. and planning on obtaining them when a TEOTWAWKI situation occurs is NOT a logical way to prep.

Let’s take food for example.

          You could right now, buy and/or can a lot of food to prepare for whatever disaster you are planning for. However, some people plan on storing just enough food to get through a few of days as F.E.M.A. recommends. Then when a TEOTWAWKI situation happens, then plan to barter, hunt, fishing or farm to supplement their food supply.

Some people think that because they hunt, fish or farm now, they will be able to do the same thing to feed themselves and their family after a TEOTWAWKI situation.

It is my opinion that this idea is fatally flawed. There are a lot of preppers that disagree with my belief. Below is my reasoning for my belief. If anyone disagrees with my belief that is their prerogative. We still live in the United States of America and still have the right to believe and do what we want. However, you are betting with your families and your life that you are right and I am wrong!

So here are my reasons for NOT planning on anything that I do not have in my possession at the time a TEOTWAWKI situation occurs. Let’s go back to the title of this article. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”.

Let’s assume that you are currently a good hunter, fisherman or farmer right now. Let’s also assume that you have planned on bugging out to a preplanned location or live in a location where you plan to survive during a TEOTWAWKI situation. This location has good hunting and/or fishing currently. You have hunted and fished this location and have had no problems taking game till now. However, now post TEOTWAWKI the hordes of people from the cities, other preppers, neighbors that have planned on hunting and fishing the same area that you have planned on hunting and fishing are now competing for the same game that you are. Even if this is land that you have a hunting lease for or your property that you purchased, how do you plan on stopping people that you do not want on that land from hunting and fishing on that land. Do you think signs will stop starving people from hunting and fishing on that land? Do you think fences will stop starving fathers from coming on your farm to take your crops to feed their hungry sons and daughters? Would you be willing to kill a mother trying to feed her starving children?

What happens to your plans when the area you were counting on to hunt and fish to feed your family becomes OVER hunted and/or fished and there are no game left to get!

What if the tables were turned and you ran out of food for your family. What would you be willing to do to feed your starving family?

How are you planning on controlling wild animal predators from eating the produce that you have grown or the wild game you are planning on hunting?

Remember that the report (noise) from a firearm draws a lot of unwanted attention to the area that the shot came from. Firing a shot gives your position away. This is one reason a lot of preppers are purchasing and training with cross bows.

Have you figured what you will do if bad weather occurs for any length of time? Let’s say you are planning of farming for food to feed your family. You have stored non-hybrid seeds to plant. You cultivate your field, plant your seed, then flocks of birds start eating your seed, a two month long drought occurs, a strong wind comes up and blows the top soil, which has your seed in it, away. If you are currently a farmer you probably know many other things that adversely affect the growing of your crops. However, here is one not many preppers are planning for. What if everything goes good for you and you have a bountiful crop and harvest. Then the government, probably F.E.M.A., steps in and confiscates your crop, for the greater good, to feed all of the people that have left the cities but have nothing to eat! I would NOT plan on the excess crops for bartering. You may not have enough to feed your family after all of your hard work.

What happens when F.E.M.A. starts handing out food in a post- TEOTWAWKI situation? You decide that in order to have your food supply last longer, you will go to the F.E.M.A. food distributing center to get some of the food they are handing out. When you arrive, you are told by a F.E.M.A. official that you need to fill out a form for records purposes and to apply for the food handouts. You do so and hand the form back to the F.E.M.A. official. The F.E.M.A. official then tells you that you, he and two armed National Guardsman will now go to your home for an inspection, right now. That any food or items they deem needed for the greater good will be confiscated, to be redistributed to other people in need, then you can pick up your share the next day! What are you going to say? If you say no or forget about it, the F.E.M.A. official will assume you have stored food and items that they need. They will still come to your house and take what they want. If you say, ok the F.E.M.A. official comes to your house and still takes what they want. It is a bad situation either way for you!

Let’s say that the TEOTWAWKI situation like a nuclear weapon goes off, a biological weapon is released and people are told to evacuate and told they will never go back to their homes. If you think this cannot happen remember the Fukaeshema accident in Japan. Remember the Chernobyl incident in Russia. The citizens of those cities were told to evacuate and they never have been allowed to return to their homes. What if this type of incident occurred in multiple cities in the United States? What if there was a nationwide E.M.P. incident and all of the inner city people evacuated. All of these people go to smaller cities in the country. Do you think all of these small cities will welcome the urbanites with open arms? How would they feed all of the evacuees? If they are turned away from the smaller cities, where do you think all of these people are going to go? They will go the only place they have, the woods and farm fields surrounding those small cities. The only other option they would have is the F.E.M.A. camps.

Do you think that the inner city gangs are just going to go away? Do you think they are going to drive up to your front door during the day and ask you, please Mr. Farmer; may I have some of your food that you have been growing all season? Or do you think they will try to reestablish their gangs using food instead of drugs? How about if they over hunt and fish an area and  sell the game they got instead of drugs?

There are some preppers out there that purchase just firearms, ammunition and tactical gear and plan on taking what they need by force in a TEOTWAWKI situation from people that have what they want.

The last thing is, you are NOT getting any younger. You are getting older! How long will you be able to do all of the things needed to be done on a daily basis in a post-TEOTWAWKI situation and on top of that hunt, fish and farm to feed your family?

You MUST plan on storing all the food and supplies that you need to survive when none is available at the store. Stockpile your supplies in multiple locations. But do it NOW!!!! If you believe that you do not have the money now to purchase what you need, do you really think you will be able afford and get what you need in a post- TEOTWAWKI situation.

DO NOT plan on harvesting wild game or crops in a post- TEOTWAWKI situation.

Do NOT plan of getting food and water from the government.

Do you remember Murphy’s Law? “Whatever can go wrong; will go wrong; at the worst possible moment; creating the maximum amount of damage!”

Another rule to remember is, “One is none; two is one!”

Prepare NOW while you still can!


“There is no try, only do and do not!”


Star Wars

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14 thoughts on “A bird in the hand……..”

  1. I have tried to tell this to my oldest brother and I think he gets it. But on the other hand he plans to show up at our house with nothing but his refillable dispencers and his boss, only the food in his pantry ( maybe a weeks worth ) and nothing else, not even water.

    I tried to tell that he will never make the 450 miles from Chicago and if he doe’s our door will not open for him. I just don’t understand how most people think.

  2. If it happens the way you describe, it will truly be a bad day for someone. The reality of the situation is that nobody is ever prepared for every single event that could happen as it is impossible to have all the bases covered. Even those who have an underground missile silo with 10 years worth of food / water / fuel still have shortcomings.

  3. I really am taking this message to heart. I know that I first put my trust in God and He has opened doors NOW to prepare. I must walk thru those doors and do MY part. One may get overwhelmed, but it just makes common sense with the rise in food prices and all the violence escalating. We hear you.

  4. Good article with many good points. I’ve have had to make adjustments constantly as most perhaps do. As families age and move apart and as we get older we must adjust our preps to match these realities. I am a 53 year old combat veteran, I am not the the lean mean fighting machine of my youth. I prep for various situations and understand and except you can only so much. From experience I can tell you “Murphy will show up”, but it’s how you as the saying goes (Improvised and Overcome) that will get you hopefully through. Your brain is your best asset.

  5. I am mid 70s and my husband has passed the 80 mark. I’m looking for very down to earth ways that we can prepare. I get the having food and supplies on hand, but like you say, what if we have to leave or people come and take it.

    • Sharon – Coach’s upcoming article will likely address your questions. If you see y response here – what is your housing situation? Apartment? City? Small town? Thanks – Rourke

  6. Good post. Just today at work I over heard one of the guys talking to a friend and stop to hear what he was talking about. It was about prepping, My friend knows I prep so he said to the guy to ask me what I thought, I told him to stock up and to keep trying to learn about being self relient as he could, if the shtf he will need to be able hold up till the dust settles. and then be able to take care him self with just what he has stored up do not count on help it will not be there.

    • ny hillbilly – I run across people that are walking statistics all the time. Nothing will convince them until too late. A rare few though can get it and comprehend not only what can happen but what is coming.

  7. Sharon,
    I understand your concern with being a senior prepper.
    I am 64 years young, so I have a good idea what your concerns.
    I will write an article addressing the priorities of a senior prepper.
    Keep reading “Modern Survival Online”. The article should be finished in a couple of weeks.
    However, I will address the reality of prepping at our age.
    You may not like what I have to say.
    The Coach

  8. My wife and I always make an extra quart or six at every dinner. Then after dinner she cans up the leftovers, what doesn’t seal is lunch the next few days. We also use jars with oxygen absorbers to store rice, beans, grains, and more. We also use a vacumn sealer with sealer bags to store dried fruits, meats, survival tabs and protein bars. Coffee comes in sealed cans and we have a cold room for what we grow in our garden/orchard. You do not need to do it all at once, but you need to start somewhere. Stay prepared my friends!


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