A matter of seconds is all it takes. My mother went to close the camper door and it changed her life forever.

“I had one foot in a puddle, there was a little puddle right by the door, and one foot on the metal step. I went to unhook the door that was latched behind the camper and pull it behind me. And literally, there was a flash of light and thunder at the exact same time. At that exact moment I felt, with my hand that was on the door, I felt like somebody took a two-by-four or a baseball bat and slammed me on my back and it literally threw me into the camper onto the couch.”

Her initial symptom was that her entire body started getting hot. While muscle spasms are a common initial reaction to a lightning strike, Dr. Stan Garrett at Covenant says it can also cause more serious internal injuries.

“It causes your heart to go in an abnormal rhythm, and the heart can actually stop. Many times, the heart will restart by itself but the problem is your chest muscles are spasming so you can’t breath. So if you notice it, you need to get people to make sure they’re breathing more than restarting the heart.”

“I do have an arrhythmia in my heart and it’s possible that it could’ve been from that. I’m very fortunate that it wasn’t a direct hit because obviously with a direct hit you would be dead”

We stopped by the Science Spectrum to talk to the Lubbock National Weather Service about some tips and tricks if you do get caught in one of these lightning storms.

“If you hear the thunder and you count 30 seconds, if it’s less than 30 seconds, you’re already too close to lightning. So that’s when you need to seek shelter in a car or like we said maybe just, if you have to, hunker down and make yourself as small a target as possible. Don’t go under one lone tree, in fact, don’t go under any tree. It’s not safe, those can also be targets for lightning.”

For more information on how to stay safe if you get caught in a storm head to https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning-safety