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  • Nikolas Lanum

'Housewife prepper' reveals the 'backup plan' homeowners need to survive a disaster and take care of family

A Montana woman known as the "Housewife prepper" is helping millions of people get ready for emergencies and be prepared in the event of a natural disaster, conflict with a foreign nation or another pandemic.

The "Housewife Prepper" TikTok and Instagram pages were started in 2023 by Carrie, a California native who lives in Bozeman, Montana, with her husband, Colton.

Her first video was posted after last year's Chinese balloon incident when the high-altitude device flew across North American airspace. The U.S. Air Force eventually shot it down off the coast of South Carolina.

"I was like, oh my gosh, you know, this is a no-controlled situation. We need to start preparing for anything," Carrie told Fox News Digital. "We're allowing this other country in our airspace, like what's next?

The video included essentials people could utilize in case of a domestic attack, such as batteries, a solar crank radio and stockpiled water. After positive comments flooded in and the clip garnered over 4 million views in the first two weeks, Carrie continued offering followers advice.

While old media and Hollywood incarnations of the "prepper" are often depicted as paranoid, lonely men rampant with conspiracies, prepping has slowly become more mainstream, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a March report by Zion Market Research, the global survival tools market is expected to reach $2.46 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 7 percent from 2023 to 2030.

Companies have cropped up dedicated to freeze-dried food for long-term storage and large corporations like Costco have started supplying emergency food packages.

"We should all be aware of what's going on and take care of our families ourselves and not rely on the government to take care of us in a disaster situation," Carrie told Fox News Digital.

As a woman, Carrie naturally doesn't look the part of the once-fringe idea of prepping as depicted in television and movies. But her videos have been consumed by millions of people from all different demographics.

"Everyone should be prepping. Women, we are naturally gatherers, you know, we're the ones that go to the store and we do all the shopping. So, I think that's just I grew up with those traditional values and I'm using that in my marriage," she said.

Now, she is branching out, buying propane, emergency antibiotics and other things that help to provide. She said that women, who in the past have been described as nurturers, should be trying to prevent the worst in any situation, especially if they have kids.

Growing up in California, Carrie's father always made sure the family was prepared for earthquakes. He would stock her car with jumper cables, dried food and a "bug-out bag," a travel kit packed with survival supplies in case of rapid evacuation.

A typical bug-out bag, Carrie said, should include radios, batteries, first-aid kits, clothing, water packets, freeze-dried foods, radiation meters, and other electronic devices that can still operate in the event of a lightning or electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strike.

She said that experience instilled in her the importance of always being prepared for any disaster. Each family member, including children and pets, should have a designated bag that can last 72 hours.

After that point, Carrie said people should rely on the community, neighbors and friends and make sure everyone has access to tools that can be used to get water from buildings or siphon gas from a station or another vehicle. Water filters to retrieve clean liquid from a river or nearby lake could also prove useful.

At home, people can outfit their residences with solar panels, solar or tri-fuel generators that run on propane, natural gas, or petrol, freeze-dried goods, large drums of water, emergency medicines and kits, body heaters, extra flashlights, spare batteries, candles and respirators.

Carrie and Colton said personal self-defense should be the top focus for those preparing for a potential disaster.

"If you live in Oklahoma, you need to prepare for tornadoes, Florida, hurricanes, Texas, maybe the border, you know, things like that. That's when carrying self-defense on you in any form comes in handy," Carrie added.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, demand significantly increased for self-defense and wilderness survival classes, suggesting that the public is accepting some of the core aspects of prepping. Carrie and Colton agreed.

"Most of the feedback that we received from followers, even our close friends and family, has been that shift, that prepping is more of a way of life and just something that needs to be done, not something that was negatively looked at," Colton continued.

One of the most surprising revelations, Carrie said, is that many young adults are preparing now more than ever.

"I think with food prices, people, if they see something on sale, they are buying it and they're stocking up," she said. "So, they're prepping for multiple reasons, food shortages, medication shortages, job loss, anything."

Colton compared the idea of prepping to fire escape plans rolled out in grade schools across the U.S., where students and staff are trained on what to do if the building is engulfed in flames.

"It's having a backup plan to the backup plan," he said.

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