TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

Those Christmas gifts the experts are saying to 'swoop in and pick up early' this holiday season due to issues in the supply chain may not seem quite so important when you catch wind of what 'those who know' are saying about how high your heating bills could be this winter.

According to The Guardian.comNearly half the homes in the US use natural gas for heat, and they could pay an average of $746 this winter, 30% more than a year ago.

Turns out, that awesome 'cost of living increase of a raise you received this year, might be enough to cover 'some of the increase. But there's more. If you live in the midwest, which we do;

Those in the midwest could get particularly pinched, with bills up an estimated 49%, and this could be the most expensive winter for natural gas heated homes since 2008-2009.

And just when you thought about 'crying uncle,' the weather forecasters get involved and set us up with a potential double whammy. Yep. Some forecasters are predicting a slightly colder winter. 

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Last year was a bit of a fluke. Covid held fuel prices in check. People weren't out as much so there was more to go around. Now, we're back out, and all that moving around is helping to drive up the prices.

What can you do to prepare?  Start by making a check around the house. Are all the windows tightly shut? How about caulking. On what we have left for warm days, it might make sense to see if you have some cracks that need filling or weatherstripping that may be brittle and worn. It may also be a good time to check with your neighbors, especially the elderly, and see if they could use any help prepping for colder weather.

The only other thing we can do? Is watch that thermostat. If you have a programmable model, make sure it's set to keep you warm, when you need it most and to cool the house down the rest of the day.

Thank you for sharing this story with your Facebook and Twitter friends. And by the way, as far as gift-giving goes, you may want to consider, cash, to help with the heating costs!