Kentucky is a great place to be as far as weather is concerned– while locals might be quick to gripe about the region’s propensity to have the forecast change on a dime, Kentucky is southern enough to have mild but pleasantly snowy winters and northern enough to have summers that aren’t horribly sweltering. This best of both worlds means that you’re not likely to step outside and immediately turn into a popsicle even in the dead of January, but it doesn’t mean that inclement winter weather doesn’t still happen. Some of these tips are a good rule of thumb for most places, but if you’re new to the area, they’re still worth keeping in mind with the winter months fast approaching.

Watch out for your water pipes.

Not only do frozen pipes make it hard to go about your day-to-day tasks in your home, but freezing puts significant pressure on pipes, even causing them to burst. Besides the enormous cost to fix burst pipes, they can also cause flooding resulting in massive damage (and mold.)

To protect your pipes from freezing in the winter, there are a few precautions you can take: consider investing in some pipe insulation, a cheap and effective way to prevent these issues, and a project that you can undertake on your own with a little research and preparation. Other steps you can take include allowing your sink and bath faucets to drip overnight as well as keeping your sink cabinets open to allow heat in.

Always give yourself an extra 10-20 minutes to leave.

In most places in central Kentucky, driving is a necessity– and if you’re not from a part of the country where frozen-over car windows are common, you might be in for a shock when you’re running out the door late and see your entire windshield covered in frost. We’re coming up on that time of year where giving yourself some time to run your car’s defrost and bust out your ice scraper isn’t just a good idea, but an inevitability.

In snowy weather, avoid main roads when possible.

Nicholasville, New Circle, Man ‘O War, and Richmond are all prime targets for winter fender benders. If you do find yourself having to take them, as is often the case, make sure to drive slowly and cautiously during inclement weather. Lexington roads are no stranger to black ice, and even when the coast looks clear, you could be in for a nasty surprise if you’re not careful with road safety. And, of course, never forget those headlights, even when the winter weather doesn’t seem all that bad– because just like any other time of year, things can change quickly when it comes to Kentucky weather.

Take advantage of all the winter fun the area has to offer!

Don’t forget to have some fun, be it ice skating in Triangle Park or getting involved in the numerous holiday events around Lexington and the surrounding counties. Central Kentucky might get a little chilly this time of year, but that doesn’t mean its many winter traditions do!