MidCoast Council is urging all residents to act on messages from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) to prepare for bushfires this summer. The three actions are be prepared, be aware and leave early. You can also undertake some tasks around your home that will make it easier to defend if a fire does come near you, such as cleaning your gutters of leaves and twigs, installing metal gutter guards and repairing damaged or missing tiles on the roof. Also, keep lawns short and gardens well maintained, cut back trees and shrubs that overhang buildings, and clean up fallen leaves, twigs and debris around the property. Don't forget to make sure you have hoses long enough to reach around your house. There are even more handy tips to prepare your home on the RFS website. Making sure you're aware of fires as early as possible is the second important thing you can do to stay safe. Visit your phone's app store and download the free 'Hazards near me' app. Set up a 'watch zone' around your home location and set the alerts. You'll now receive a notification if a fire starts near you. The app also lets you check the fire danger ratings each day for your area. If you're not good with phones, ask someone to help you do these important steps. The third step to stay safe is to leave early if there is a bushfire. The NSW RFS says for most people, leaving early is the safest option. Take note of the fire danger ratings. If the rating is catastrophic, leave bushfire-prone areas - stay safe by going to a safer location early in the morning or the night before. Older people and those living with disability should always leave before a bushfire comes close. For your safety, you should always listen and take the advice of emergency services. "Right now, it's important that every household has a bushfire survival plan and that everyone at home knows what to do if a bush fire happens," mayor Claire Pontin said. You can complete a bushfire survival plan online at myfireplan.com.au. If you can't access the website at home, drop into a library near you to collect a bushfire survival plan. If you need some help to complete the plan, you can call the RFS on 1300 643 262 for advice. When it comes to emergencies, accurate and updated information can be a lifesaver. Stay informed and stay safe. Visit the council website to download a handy guide: midcoast.nsw.gov.au/emergency-information For all advice on preparing for bushfires, visit rfs.nsw.gov.au. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content.