This paper explores peoples' indigenous survival strategies and assesses variations in people's ability to cope with floods in two flood-prone villages in Bangladesh. It reveals that people continuously battle against flood vulnerability in accordance with their level of exposure and abilities, with varied strategies employed at different geophysical locations. The paper reports that people in an area with low flooding and with better socioeconomic circumstances are more likely to cope with impacts compared to people in areas with high and sudden flooding. Similarly, households' ability to cope varies depending on people's socioeconomic conditions, such as education, income and occupation. Although floods in Bangladesh generate socioeconomic misery and cause damage to the environment, health and infrastructure, people's indigenous coping strategies have helped them to reduce significantly their vulnerability. Such flood-mitigating strategies should be well recognised and emphasised further via proper dissemination of information through an early-warning system and subsequently external assistance.