This report examines four different issue areas to analyze how social media is used in the context of risk and crisis communication, using hurricane Sandy as an example. These areas include: public safety and preparedness; emergency warnings, alerts and requests for assistance; recovery efforts; and, finally, monitoring and situational awareness. In the context of each of these areas, the report highlights the key literature and real-life examples to explore the risks vs. opportunities in the utility of social media. These four areas capture the role of engagement and strategy in both the risk and crisis space. The 26 page-study is aimed equally at disaster management authorities, policy-makers and academic audiences.