Have a question for the NSW Rural Fire Service about burning off, preparing your home for the bushfire season or creating a bushfire survival plan? This weekend is the time to ask it.
Most RFS brigades around Port Stephens will have their station doors open or be out in the community on Saturday and Sunday as part of the service's annual Get Ready Weekend.
Anna Bay Rural Fire Service deputy captain Kristine Glen said the weekend was about helping residents to prepare for the bushfire season.
With the bush fire danger period starting early, moved forward from October to September 1, and the area already experiencing 'severe' fire danger weather, Mrs Glen said being prepared was vital.
"There is heightened awareness around being prepared because we're going to be in for a very long, hot fire season," she said.
"The danger period began September 1 and we've already had two total fire bans. That's almost unheard of.
"We don't have enough big red trucks to protect every property. We need the public to do their part, to be prepared. If people are prepared to help themselves, their properties are more defendable."
It has been a busy few weeks for the RFS Lower Hunter zone, which takes in Port Stephens. Between August 26 and September 5 there had been 196 jobs that Lower Hunter brigades responded to, not including the teams tasked to assist on jobs outside the area.
Brigades were on standby last Friday with hot, dry, windy weather catapulting the fire danger rating to 'severe'.
Firefighters from Anna Bay Rural Fire Brigade will be available to chat with at Spectrum from 9am to 4pm on Saturday as part of the church and nursery's spring fair.
The fire truck will be on site, there will be information and bushfire survival plans on hand and colouring in activities for children.
Mrs Glen said the brigade had a focus on animals this year, and would be talking with residents about including their pets in their bushfire plans.
Elsewhere in Port Stephens, the Salt Ash/Williamtown brigade will have its station opened to the public from 9am on Saturday; Medowie's will be open from 10am; Soldiers Point from 10am and Fingal Bay from 9am.
Raymond Terrace Rural Fire Brigade will hold its Get Ready Weekend activities near the town's netball courts 9am to 3pm on Saturday, September 21.