Small Wars Journal

Urban Disasters: Readiness, Response, and Recovery

Thu, 01/12/2023 - 10:11pm

Urban Disasters: Readiness, Response, and Recovery

Introducing a series of blog posts by Russ Glenn

Urban disasters are one of a range of urban scenarios that  both civil and military responders may face. In this blog, we introduce a series of Urban Disaster blogs by long-time Small Wars Journal contributor Dr. Russell W. Glenn.

Russ is a seasoned urban operations analyst. He served in a range of military roles, as an officer and after his retirement as a civilian. A graduate of the United States Military Academy, he served in the US Army Corps of Engineers, with combat tours in Iraq during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, as well as tours at the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS). His most recent position with the US Army was Director, Plans and Policy, G-2, at the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). He is a well-respected subject matter expert on urban operations and urban warfare and previously contributed to the Small Wars Anthology: Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities.  

The Urban Disasters Series

The “Urban Disasters” series is based on research for Dr, Glenn’s forthcoming book Come Hell or High Fever: Readying the World's Megacities for Disaster published by the Australian National University Press.

Glenn Book

The series will consist of fourteen posts, which were initially posted on Dr. Glenn’s LinkedIn page. These series places special emphasis on preparing the world’s megacities for disaster. Both military and civil responders (emergency services and humanitarian responders) will benefit from Glenn’s assessment of the complexity of urban operations and his salient insights into managing that complexity. The  fourteen posts are presented in three groups:

  • Readying: The first group of posts consists of four posts on readiness for disasters.
  • Response: The second group of posts includes four posts on responding to disasters.
  • Recovering: The third and final group of posts is comprised of six posts on disaster recovery.

Each theme will be presented over the next few weeks. Each thematic group summarizes key points that are discussed in greater depth in Come Hell or High Fever.

For Additional Reading

Russell W. Glenn, Come Hell or High Fever: Readying the World's Megacities for Disaster. Canberra: The Australian National University/ANU Press. DOI:



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