Abstract: This practitioner paper outlines some of the benefits for the use of social media, from the perspective of a local-level or county-level emergency manager (EM). As compared to state and national level emergency management, because local level EMs have limited manpower and resources, social media can positively or negatively impact the effectiveness of communication before, during and after disaster strikes. Outlined in this paper are six key points where local EMs have specific needs that could be addressed by the effective use of social media and, in the opinion of the authors, represent the top issues that EMs face when considering how to leverage Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms. The six needs addressed in this paper include: 1) Best practices for general social media use by EMs, 2) Social media use for internal command and control within the EM group, 3) Developing situation awareness by monitoring social media, especially prior to predicable events, 4) Communicating disaster preparedness messages through social media, 5)Using social media for gathering damage assessment information during, or immediately following a crisis,and 6) Leveraging social media volunteer groups. This short paper picks up where the Federal Emergency Management Agency's social media training leaves off and attempts to represent these six needs as use cases for researchers and developers to address in future publications and products.