Frequent tropical cyclones and floods, and less frequent earthquakes and tsunamis affect Bangladesh. In absence of recent large earthquake and tsunami experience, the country’s disaster risk reduction strategies have been developed from the learning dealing with frequent tropical cyclones and floods. However, an analysis of historical earthquake and tsunami suggests that the country is also vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. For example, the 1762 earthquake originating within the Arakan Subduction Zone generated a tsunami in the northern Bay of Bengal that struck SE Bangladesh. This research aims to understand how local residents perceive and prepare for earthquake and tsunami in SE Bangladesh. In order to achieve this objective, this research used both quantitative (i.e. questionnaire survey) and qualitative (i.e. focus group discussions and informal interviews) data collection techniques in SE Bangladesh. The results of data analysis suggest that the local residents have lesser level of risk perception and preparedness in absence of their direct experience of earthquakes and tsunamis. As such, this research recommends further assessment of community vulnerability to earthquakes and tsunamis and implementing risk reduction strategies.