Decades of living through bushfires has inspired Heathcote MP Maryanne Stuart to call together the emergency services to brief residents on how to prepare.
Ms Stuart has organised two community sessions on Saturday where representatives from the Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, the State Emergency Service and other bodies will be on hand.
"What we're being told by the experts is there a lot of fuel and we've had a lot of dry weather and chances are it's going to be quite a horrendous summer bushfire-wise," Ms Stuart said.
"So I'm just wanting the agencies to all come together and explain their role and help residents prepare."
Ms Stuart said the idea for the forums came from her own experiences with bushfires.
"I've lived here for 52 years and I've lost count of how many bushfires I have seen and been evacuated from," she said.
"There were bushfires in Como and Jannali, where we lost a resident who jumped into a pool. That's always stayed with me because my family lives very close by, they lived in that same street.
"It's stayed with me because people tend to panic at times like that so what I want to do is make sure that people have as much information and to continue to communicate with them."
Ms Stuart said the sessions would provide residents with the chance to ask questions like who to call when they see a fire, which phone apps they should use or even whether evacuating to the beach - as was seen during the Black Summer bushfires at Tathra - is the best option.
"The RFS will explain on Saturday where they think the most urgent sections of the Illawarra are but certainly we remember the 2001 bushfires in Helensburgh," she said.
"They happened very quickly. This is what we're seeing now - bushfires taking off very, very quickly because of fuel loads and because of climate change. We just need to better be better prepared."
Two sessions will be held on Saturday. The first is at 9am at the Thirroul Railway Institute followed by a second at Tradies Helensburgh from 11am.
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