Following last year's devastating bushfires, MidCoast Council is urging residents to to take five simple steps to prepare for the 2020-21 season and put together a survival plan.
During the past three weeks council has outlined a number of initiatives members of the community can put into place with its Get Ready program.
This week focuses on step four; be aware of bushfire alerts around you, especially during the fire season.
"The first way to keep updated is to watch for the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) fire danger ratings, which are issued daily and are specific for your area," MidCoast Council mayor, David West said.
"Roadside fire danger ratings signs are located throughout the Mid Coast, or you can check the fire information each day on the RFS website," Cr West said.
"As the fire danger ratings increase, you should be following your bushfire safety plan.
"At severe and extreme ratings, the safest option is to leave early - don't wait to see what happens.
"At a catastrophic fire danger rating, your only option is to leave early.
"No homes are built to withstand fires in catastrophic conditions and it is not safe to stay and defend your home."
During a bushfire, the RFS will issue alerts, which give you an indication of the level of threat from a fire.
The Advice alert means a fire has started, and there is no immediate danger.
You should stay up-to-date in case the situation changes.
No homes are built to withstand fires in catastrophic conditions and it is not safe to stay and defend your home.David West
The Watch and Act alert means there is a heightened level of threat and conditions are changing.
You need to start enacting your bushfire survival plan.
The Emergency Warning alert is the highest level of bushfire alert.
You may be in danger and need to take action now.
"The RFS says you should not wait for an alert - some fires start and spread so quickly there may not be any time for a warning," Cr West said.
"Remember, leaving early is the safest option for your survival.
"Downloading the Fires Near Me app to your phone is one of the best ways to make sure you know when a fire starts, you can set to be alerted when a fire starts near you."
Otherwise, stay aware at the RFS website, via the RFS information phone line 1800 679 737 or via the NSW RFS social media sites.
During a fire emergency, you should tune into the emergency radio broadcaster, ABC 95.5FM.
Cr West said that every home on the Mid Coast region would soon receive a Get Ready Mid Coast bushfire survival plan in the mail.
"We want every home on the Mid Coast to have a bushfire survival plan this year, so make sure you, your family and your neighbours Get Ready following the steps on your household copy of the Get Ready plan on our website and the NSW RFS recommendations."
Stay ahead with local news by signing up for the Great Lakes Advocate newsletter here.