On Friday, President Joseph Biden, Jr. declared that an emergency exists in the State of Rhode Island and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Henri beginning on August 20, 2021, and continuing.

According to a statement from the White House Briefing Room, the President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, and Washington and the Narragansett Indian Tribe located within Washington County.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding. 

Deanne Criswell, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Benjie Abbott as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas. 

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.