The spring thaw is coming up fast, and the city of St. Cloud, as well as the Better Business Bureau, have some information and advice on keeping your home protected from potential flooding.

The first is to help with maintenance of any one of St. Cloud's 8,000 stormwater catch basins. The city is asking interested residents to consider helping remove snow and ice from their neighborhood catch basins - clearing away debris and poking holes in the top of catch basins creates water flow so that meltwater can drain properly. If you're unable to clear the basin, call the city and mark it with a stake so that city crews can find them.

Beyond this, the Better Business Bureau suggests a number of ways to prepare your home to minimize losses in the event of flooding. If you have important or valuable items in your basement, make sure you move them to a higher level of your home. Install backflow valves in wastelines to keep water flowing in one direction. Make sure your home's gutters and drains are clear. Keep an inventory of your valuables for insurance purposes - photographs and serial numbers are important when it comes to items like electronics, appliances, jewelry and artwork. Lastly, have an emergency supply kit with food, bottled water, first aid supplies, medicine and a battery-powered radio.