American Society of Civil Engineers

Indigenous Knowledge and Practices for Cyclone Preparedness in Coastal Bangladesh

by Rakib Hossain, (Graduate student, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96848 E-mail:, Md. Moynul Ahsan, (Graduate student, Urban and Regional Planning Department, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka E-mail:, Md. Zakir Hossain, (Lecturer, Urban and Rural Planning Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna 9208, Bangladesh E-mail:, and Md. Ashiq-ur-Rahman, (Lecturer, Urban and Rural Planning Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna 9208, Bangladesh E-mail:
Section: Wind, Building Design, pp. 825-837, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2008
Abstract: To cope with cyclones, the people in coastal areas of Bangladesh apply early warnings received from nature and undertake protection measures at the household and community levels. Indigenous knowledge reveals the hand-on-experience by people living in close contact with the nature which is transmitted from one generation to the next through oral and behavioral tradition. This knowledge, representing a rich source of generational practices for cyclone preparedness, is now becoming extinct due to inadequate documentation. They can be termed as a socio-cultural and economic resource, which has reduced property and lives damages from cyclones for years. This study was conducted using Participatory Risk Assessment tools, semi-structured questionnaire surveys, and visual survey. It explored indigenous understandings and practices for cyclone preparedness. It also evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of both structural and non-structural preparedness mechanisms, especially warning and practices of housing construction.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Coastal environment