person holding blue ribbon
Photo by Artem Podrez on

Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) today issued a press release calling on Southern New Englanders to donate blood following Hurricane Ian’s impact on the coast of Florida.

Donations are needed locally and in anticipation of humanitarian efforts that will be necessary to support our southern neighbors, RIBS states in a press release. These donations are essential to maintaining a stable supply of blood and platelets in impacted regions, which can help save lives and ensure patient needs continue to be met throughout this difficult time.

On Tuesday, Hurricane Ian made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida as a powerful Category 4 storm. Experts say it is one of the strongest hurricanes to make landfall on the west coast of Florida.

The Rhode Island Blood Center is a member of the New York Blood Center Enterprises family, which has already sent blood to the region.

“We need more donations in order to be ready to provide further support to those in areas affected by the storm. Blood is perishable and according to AABB, blood collection organizations nationwide on average had only 1-2 days’ blood supply heading into the storm, this includes RIBC,” according to RIBC. “Anticipated disruptions in blood collections and transportation challenges in Florida and the Southeast throughout the next several days are likely to exacerbate already low inventories, particularly in the affected areas”. 

“Southern New Englanders are known to rally to help each other. We are now calling on them again in our efforts to help Florida and that region impacted by the storm,” said Caitlin Grimaldi-Flick, Marketing and Communications Manager at Rhode Island Blood Center. “It is critical to ensure a safe blood supply, especially now. It only takes an hour of your time to help our neighbors.” 

To make an appointment, donors can call 401-453-8383 or visit

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore 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 previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

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

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.