Southeast Kansas Multi-County 
Health Departments

4 Counties, 1 Goal. Hope, Happiness & Health for Kansans.


Ask A Nurse



Alice Maffett, RN


Bourbon County
Public Health Hurse

“Ask A Nurse”

Preparedness Responses


Q: My house flooded, so I need a tetanus shot?

A: Flood water is considered contaminated water and a tetanus shot is advisable especially if it has been over 5 years since your last injection.


Q: My children like to play outside in the rain, is that safe?

A: Whenever you hear thunder, you should go inside. Lightning can strike. Lightning victims may suffer debilitating symptoms or death.


Q: What do I put in a preparedness kit?

A: Preparedness kits can be prepared with items such as: Flashlights, batteries, food, water, battery powered radio, first-aid kit, gloves, Manual can opener for canned foods, extra clothing, sleeping bag/blanket, Pencil/Paper, prescription medications, infant formula/diapers, toilet paper, Garbage bags, important family documents, cash or debit cards, matches, Books, games, puzzles for children, pet food/water.


Q: Do you think it would be safe if there appears to be only some water over the road during heavy rains?

A: Avoid flooded roadways. The saying goes “Turn Around. Don’t Drown”. It takes only six inches of water to knock a person off their feet and one foot of water can sweep your vehicle away.


Q: Do I need to throw out all my food after a power outage?

A: If any food has been exposed to temperatures of over 40 F or 4C for 2 hours or more, then it needs to be thrown away. You should never rely upon the smell or appearance of the food for safety. Bacteria can start to grow quickly.