The coastal regions of Bangladesh are hit by cyclones regularly. The country has evolved, in the face of repetitious calamities, a disaster preparedness programme. The major response to cyclones has been the building of cyclone shelters, which also double as community centers and schools. While these cyclone shelters have proved to be useful, they are more in the nature of disaster management, that is, they are measures that come in useful particularly in the event of a cyclone. The approach of this study has been to look at existing houses and the process of building and maintaining these houses in the face of frequent cyclonic storms and storm surges, and gather information on shared knowledge and collective experiences of the people in all aspects of house building. The aim of this study is to find ways to make traditional structures more cyclone resistant and less prone to wind damage. It is with this end in mind that the German Red Cross with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society initiated this survey and study of traditionally built houses in cyclone risk areas.