There are many things a homeowner can do to prevent water in the basement.
First, you have to deal with the hydrostatic pressure of water. Hydrostatic pressure is the water wanting to push in on things, so we have to get water away from the house. Take a look at the downspouts and gutters. If they are broken, split, or leak at the seams or undersides you want to address those and you want to make sure the downspouts are 4 or 5 feet away from the house and that they run away from the house.
Tip two, we want to continue minimizing hydrostatic pressure. If the landscaping is pitched toward the house, you want to try to build up the landscaping near the house so that any water that water flows down and away. Any water that comes off the house has a ramp running away from the house rather than toward it.
Tip three, if you have a sump pump, check it every 2 to 3 months because you never know when you are going to need it. If there is a float or lever arm, raise that up and see if you hear the pump going.
The fourth and final tip is to use your eyes and go downstairs in the basement. Small problems can become big problems quickly if you don't address them. Look for stains on the concrete floor or baseboard. You want to look at cracks on the foundation wall, as well as mold or mildew. See if there is a musty smell. If you have a stone foundation, be sure that the mortar joints are solid. Sometimes you can touch them and they powder. This tells you there is some attention that is needed.