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November 25, 2017

Rural Update – How You Can Help Victims of Flooding.

The Red Cross in Fairbanks is helping flood victims in the Interior.  Anyone who is interested and wants to do something for those in Eagle, and the Tanana area is encouraged by the Red Cross to send “comfort kits” composed of toiletry items such as: shampoo, soap, wash cloths, etc. 

Remember, those flat-rate boxes from the post office can hold a lot!  We learned that from the Western Alaska food drive.

The flooding this year was the worst in recorded history.  You can send your Mudflats care package of toiletries to:

Spring Flood 09
c/o Red Cross
725 26th Ave Suite 201
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701

[Photo above is of the home of Mudflatter Yukonbushgrandma, taken by Andrew Ruth/National Park Service]



46 Responses to “Rural Update – How You Can Help Victims of Flooding.”
  1. justafarmer says:

    will be sending my boxes to Eagle on monday!

  2. yukonbushgrma says:

    Hey guys —

    I don’t want to cause any more work for AKM, so if you would like to earmark your donations for EAGLE specifically, you can send them to:
    Eagle Mudflats Relief
    PO Box 135
    Eagle, AK 99738

    As a homeless person myself, I’m pretty aware of those who are in need of specific items, and I can deliver them pronto. If there are excess items, I will give them to the central distribution center, so everyone has access to them. This includes the folks who have sustained damage to their homes, but aren’t completely homeless.

    Eagle was really the hardest hit by the Yukon this year, but the river is still breaking up and so many other communities are being hit too. The Red Cross will distribute your donations to all of these communities, and that’s a worthy cause too.


  3. yukonbushgrma says:

    @ justafarmer:

    Your story is starting to sound very similar to what we’re going through. I don’t expect much to happen here in Eagle. The state is throwing a lot of money toward administration and logistics, and the people left homeless are still here, wondering where they will live in a few short few months. No money saved for a new home, no money to buy building materials, everything gone, no insurance (even though flooding insurance was requested/turned down), property contaminated. It’s going to be a long, long time. No one is providing meaningful information.

    But it sounds like you had a federal disaster declaration – ?? We don’t have that here, and the way it’s looking, it may never come.

  4. yukonbushgrma says:

    @ #41 justafarmer Says:
    “ybg: I would never have thought of alarm clocks. OTOH, my dogs are always doing the pp dance before dawn.”
    Yeah, mine do that too. But somehow I have a way to make them lay down and hold it until I’M ready to let them out! They know mom’s in charge! Sometimes the PP alarm clock just doesn’t cut it …..

  5. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:


    CORRECTION on one rate boxes. The INTERNATIONAL weight limit is 20 lbs. If you are in the US, then the actual limit is 70lbs (but they don’t enforce it since they advertise “regardless of weight”).

    They are awesome! And sign up for Click N Ship for free, and print your own labels (even request carrier pickup). I’ve been doing this for 2 + years because I mail a lot of pkgs to family, and the service and ease is outstanding. Shhhhhh…. don’t tell the PO I said this, but if you don’t have a scale and use one rate boxes shipped from your own house, you can estimate the weight (since it doesn’t affect the price) but get it as close as you can!

  6. justafarmer says:

    ybg: I would never have thought of alarm clocks. OTOH, my dogs are always doing the pp dance before dawn. I’ll send an email to AKM to forward to you so I can get your mailing address and send you a clock!

  7. justafarmer says:

    hi again Tracy,
    I live in a sparsely populated area. The ‘big city” has a population of about 2-3,000–that’s where the National Guard was. Those of us out in the woods and hollers were completely on our own. FEMA eventually came through a few months later with a reimbursement for a replacement generator & chainsaw. SBA came along later with an extremely low interest loan to replace every appliance we had (they were destroyed during the power surges).

  8. Tracy in NYC says:

    justafarmer — Thanks for your story. That’s unbelievable that NO agencies showed up in TWO WEEKS!! Stunning. I sent your post to my original email list to reinforce why it’s so important to respond to these requests for help.

    And… I would just like to give public thanks to my cousin, who, in response to my email last night, already had her cupboard clean, box packed/addressed/ sealed, and was on her way to the post office by 10:35 am Eastern this morning!!!! Loud claps for Jessie!

    It goes without saying, but send out an email to your list and ask them to forward to everyone on their own lists…

    On May 15, 2009, at 10:35 AM, Jessie XXX wrote:
    Thx for forwarding. I filled a flat rate box. Mostly sanitary napkins from post partum and fragrant bath products. Cleaner cupboard and helping someone! Off to post office.

  9. yukonbushgrma says:

    @ #36 justafarmer:
    “…next time the premium came due I decided to stick with God and not renew the insurance policy.”

    hee hee hee hee — best thing I’ve heard all day!


  10. yukonbushgrma says:

    There’s one little thing I’d add to all of the above great lists — alarm clocks! Even the little travel alarms would work.

    We requested these last week, and even though they were put on a list, none have shown up. I’m getting to a busy time of year when I really-really-really need one of those!

    Pet things – yes, I don’t think we could ever get enough here. All of our critters were stressed out for quite a spell after the flood. Many of them have new surroundings and are finding it hard to adjust (I know mine are). Anything — food, treats, beds, litter, cleanup stuff, leashes … whatever you would want your own furbabies to have. Another great thing would be gift cards for Walmart (if you’re not boycotting them), Fred Meyer or Sam’s Club. That way, people can use them for what they need, and they don’t cost much to mail.

    We do have people here who enjoy their vices too, and the store hasn’t been able to place an order. So the town is just about out of cigarettes, tobacco, tubes, and Copenhagen. If anyone is inclined to donate those, we can find out if AKM would be willing to provide my mailing address and I’ll dole them out to those in need.

    You guys are incredible!


  11. justafarmer says:

    Tracy, you are so correct in saying “you never know”.
    When I lived in the tornado alley area of Illinois, my farm was hit three times in 19 years.
    Back in Kentucky now, in 2003, we had a huge ice storm and were without power for 2 weeks and NO organization or government agency showed up, but neighbors did and we survived. (Oh, and we had home insurance but the company made a blanket ruling that the ice was an act of God and not covered…next time the premium came due I decided to stick with God and not renew the insurance policy.)
    My husband just said in responding to your question “what would YOU need?”…. thick clean dry socks! He also said hairbrush, hair ties (he has waist-length hair) and bandanas (his hair is getting thin up top and he likes to avoid sunburnt scalp).

  12. justafarmer says:

    looks like I’m going to have to do more than one box. I checked the USPS website and the postage is $10.35 (not sure if that’s the new higher rate that kicked in this week, though) but there’s a 20-pound limit. So I might have to get at least two boxes to spread the heavier stuff around (like doggie treats, my dog pack INSISTS that I send something to their brothers and sisters up there…now the cats are staring at me!!!)
    I’ve printed out a flyer of yukonbushgrma’s house and the flat rate box info to take to the food pantry tomorrow. I’m hoping the folks at the pantry will help out as well as the Glenmary Farm volunteers (the Glenmary Farm kids are the ones who do the clothes store and giveaway the shampoos, toothpastes, toothbrushes, cleaning supplies, baby formula, etc.)

  13. Tracy in NYC says:

    I just sent out an email request to a long list of people around the country. If it helps to have a consolidated list, here’s a combined inventory of all of the items I could think of together with what people had already suggested:

    Don’t know exactly what they need, but if your house looked like the photo below, and you’d had no time to grab anything, what would YOU need? Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, pre-moistened wipes, a comb, eye drops, OTC medications like Advil/Tylenol/Pepto/Benadryl, hand cream, moisturizer, travel razors, shaving cream, band-aids, anti-biotic ointment, hand towel, a nail file, tweezers, face toner/cleanser, sunscreen, Q-tips, saline solution, contact case, eyeglass wipes, aspirin, a nail brush, kleenex, a 100% cotton pillowcase, tampons/”girl stuff” — also… socks, underwear, pens, disposeable cameras, cigarettes, gum, energy bars, drink mixes. Kid’s stuff? Not my forte, but off the top of my head, electrolyte packettes, diaper cream, diapers, pull-ups, wipes, sippy cups, baby formula. Pet products and food.

    NOTE: NO LIQUIDS, NO AEROSOL, NO NAILPOLISH. Those items can’t be shipped by the US Post Office due to flight restrictions.

    And as I said to my friends… You never know when you’ll be the one who’s at the mercy of a complete stranger to take time out of their day to mail YOU a washcloth and a tube of toothpaste.

  14. seattlefan says:

    Kath the Scrappy from Seattle….

    OMG! I went to the dentist yesterday too, but only for a cleaning. Yikes…the dentist office visits are my biggest dreads and …yes… I am phobic. LOL! They have “Sensitive Patient” written on my file in red letters.

    Great idea about all the hotel shampoos etc. I actually went out and got some stuff. I’m a huge animal lover and really want to know if they could use dog/cat food.

    Nice to talk to a fellow “Seattle area ” person!

  15. seattlefan says:


    Thanks for the additional info on how to help out. I hope you and the rest are all doing well. Are the any special needs for pets? Sending my thoughts and well wishes your way.

  16. yukonbushgrma,
    Thanks for taking the time to share the good news, as well as information on how to help out. I hope the customs house can be saved. And I really hope that your own salvage operation is going well!

  17. yukonbushgrma says:

    Just want to come back and say a HUGE thanks to all of you for thinking of what you can send. Believe me, it will all go to very good use, whether in Eagle or a town downriver!

    People are going to be in need for quite some time.


  18. tigerwine says:

    Yukonbushgrma – so good to see your clip on TV, and to know that both you and those precious documents survived. Hope you can salvage the Customs House when all this dies down. Hugs and kisses to you and your husband.

  19. yukonbushgrma says:

    @ #26 InJuneau:
    RIGHT ON! I did not go out to see her when she was here, but many folks got the same impression as you. We are getting vibes that those who lost their homes probably won’t receive much help, if any, to rebuild something before winter.

    I’d like to emphasize again that there is a special fund set up specifically to aid those will be needing assistance in rebuilding. It’s called “Rebuild Eagle” and is set up through Wells Fargo Bank. Just call any Wells Fargo branch.

    It’s still quite a mess here, and we’re still working through the grieving process. But the pieces are being picked up, one tiny piece at a time.

    We filmed a “good news” story here yesterday — you might all like to see it. Oh yes, the KTUU people deserve an incredible award for what they’ve done for Eagle. They are amazing! Here’s the link:
    Volunteers rush to save Eagle’s rich history after flood

    Bless y’all!!!!

  20. InJuneau says:

    oops, rely on the govmint…

  21. InJuneau says:

    Yeah, she got there, saw it on KTUU–walkin’ around, talkin’ to the locals, sayin’ stuff like it’s good they’re pulling together cause you can’t relay on the govmint, or something like that. However, the KTUU reporter’s actually been there all week reporting on the situation and letting people know what’s going on and how they’re coping, so I’m WAY more impressed by that!

  22. LadyInCali says:

    Thanks for the information. I’ll also get a few boxes out soon.

  23. tigerwine says:

    Did SP ever get to Eagle? I heard she was going, but not that she actually did.

  24. Aussie Blue Sky says:

    justafarmer Says:
    (I’m thinking of things I sent in care packages to Iraq & Afghanistan.)
    In the post office of my small town in rural Australia I’m famous for my care packages for Iraq (mainly because I pack them in the post office with a very curious audience). I always include a few zany things like red hair dye, but included in every package is
    . a disposable camera
    . a bunch of toothbrushes
    . disposable razors and a shaving stick (no aerosols are allowed to be sent)
    . a few wide-toothed combs
    . a few pens
    . underwear, and
    . cigarettes.

    Once, I sent eight dozen shower curtains, but that’s another story. So is the story about the box of 5,000 loose pencils that I lugged into the post office – only to have the bottom fall out of the box …..

  25. Kath the Scrappy from Seattle says:

    @ Lee323 at 9:49 PM

    Thanks for your explanation. Think you’re right on target. Back then (& even to this day) the cold blooded heartlessness she displayed just curdles my veins. Simply beyond my comprehension, so it’s helpful when you make some sense out of it.

    @ seattlefan at 10:05 PM

    Go gettem Friend! Today I’m nursing a fat lip from a dentist. Just a tiny cavity, but dang feels like he punched my in the face! Tomorrow I’m going to be sorting thru all my ‘savings’ from previous hotel trips, can’t leave those soaps/shampoos behind and then never used them. See what I can pull together. Liked your ideas & will put them to use, also too.

  26. seattlefan says:

    Now that I know what is needed and how to get it done, I will be doing my share tomorrow. I wish there was a list of specifics needed, but I will use my judgement on what is needed and send all I can based on what I would want in a “comfort kit”. Do we know if there are children and animals in need here? If there are I can arrange for dog and cat food to be sent. Also if there are any kids with needs can someone let me know?

    I hope everyone is doing ok.

  27. Martha Unalaska Yard Sign says:

    You guys make me proud. I will contribute, too, as soon as I can. I hope our night raven yukonbushgrma is OK.

  28. Lee323 says:

    @ Kath the Scrappy

    Palin declared the flooding situation an official “Disaster.” She never did that with the food/fuel crisis in the rural villages. Since the flooding was clearly an “Act of God” in Palin’s judgmental pea brain, she actually did something governor-like.

    IMO, she could not see past the biases that she holds for the rural communities and therefore was judgmental and blaming them for their predicament. This attitude was very clear in her disrespectful speeches to the rural villagers when she and Rev. Graham made their photo-op stop out there.

  29. Kath the Scrappy from Seattle says:

    One thing occurred to me. When the Villagers were going without fuel & food this winter, SP wouldn’t even call in the Red Cross to help (think I read Red Cross have to be “invited” by the Gov before they can appear). But THIS time SP must have ‘made the call’ if Red Cross is helping to coordinate.

    After Emmonak, her PR team probably figured it would look really bad to ignore Alaskans in need once again while she’s progressing her “book” deal.

  30. wired differently says:

    Although I’m sorry they’re needed, I’m glad to fill a box (which I get at the Greenwood P.O., seattlefan). I would note that I’m always asked when I send a box if it contains liquids. So far I have not sent things (to the other end of the river) that could get squished and leak all over. BTW, the boxes are FREE!

  31. zyggy says:

    I make soap and sent a large flat rate box filled with them to Ann, so I’ll pack up another box for our buddies in Eagle and Tanana. I’ll try my best to get the box out tomorrow. I think I was able to put 60 bars in the last box. =)

  32. justafarmer says:

    tnx! I’ve got a bunch of Prilosec, as well. I suspect that may be in high demand, too. Anyway, sending a box or two or three from Kentucky on Friday. We have devastating floods here on a regular basis (people have died in my county, even within the past decade), so I can sympathize completely.

  33. InJuneau says:

    justafarmer–I would think the OTC stuff would be fine. It’s not illegal to send that in the mail, and I’m sure it’s stuff they no longer have there, so I’m sure anything would be appreciated.

  34. From our blog:

    Whatever you can fit into the box travels all the way to Alaska as domestic mail from anywhere in the United States, at the predetermined cost (between $10.35-$13.95), regardless of weight. The box must close completely or it may be returned to you.

    Remove extra packaging, use items such as washcloths and soap and shampoo samples as packing material.


    If you live in a community that has specific needs, please let us know.

    Thank you!

  35. justafarmer says:

    oh, almost forgot! Are over-the-counter health products OK? I’ve got Cepacol lozenges and Gummy Bear vitamins (in un-opened packages)

  36. justafarmer says:

    I can do the toiletry items. I’ve also got a few Tang and iced tea mixes from the local food pantry here. Might be able to snag some baby formula from the pantry on Friday. Also have loads of granola and trail mix bars, as well as the ever-popular Ramen noodles. I suspect feminine hygiene products would also be helpful? (I’m thinking of things I sent in care packages to Iraq & Afghanistan.)

  37. gdwyer says:

    Regarding the flat-rate boxes, seattlefan: Make sure that the box specifically states “flat rate box” on it. If it doesn’t then you will pay by weight. I learned this the hard way.

  38. seattlefan says:

    Thank you The Rubber Room Hotel!

  39. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    Sorry incomplete, boxes are a predetermined rate and ship for that cost regardless of weight, they come in various sizes.

  40. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    seattlefan…. You can get the flat rate boxes at the US Post Office, also at office supply stores and even some grocery stores.

  41. seattlefan says:

    oops…I meant “what a flat rate box is…”

  42. seattlefan says:

    Can someone please post that a flat rate box is and where I can get one? Thanks! I would really like to pitch in and help.

  43. mwThatOne.. says:

    Another project of Mudflats’ Love….. go, team!

  44. InJuneau says:

    Mudflats IS a small world, isn’t it?

  45. Gramiam says:

    OMG!!! I was Numero uno!!!

  46. Gramiam says:

    Thank you for this, AKM!

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