Bangladesh is prone to repeated flooding events. The evidence indicates that these events are on the rise and increasing in severity. Our research, conducted by field trips to Bangladesh in 2010 and 2015, utilised in-depth interviews with participants from regularly flooded villages. Key findings indicate that it is useful to consider strategies to cope with a given flooding event separately from strategies to adapt to flooding in general and that in the absence of organised and adequately resourced adaptation programs, coping strategies, reliant on local knowledge, will proliferate. In discussing coping and adaption strategies we focus on three elements common to each: governance, social networks and income diversification. In particular we were interested in how the nature of each element differed between scenarios of coping or adaptation and in how local knowledge, essential for coping with a crisis, can also be employed to assist efforts of adaptation to repeated crisis.