Surat is situated at the mouth of the river Tapi where it meets the Arabian Sea and has for centuries been a flood-affected area. The most recent floods however, were different because of the magnitude of their effect. Nearly 90 per cent of the households were affected; six of the seven wards of the city had water standing for days. It crippled the economy and affected people's coping abilities. In the wake of the floods the Department of Human Resource Development of the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University and the Centre for Social Studies conducted a study looking at how people coped with the disaster and the impact of the flood on their lives and the economy. It offers some pointers about how the impact can be mitigated in similar situations in the future.