[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[March 12, 1995]
[Page 333]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Disaster Assistance for California
March 12, 1995

    Today I am declaring that a major disaster exists in California. 
Federal funds will begin to flow to the individuals and communities 
affected by this latest terrible act of nature. California has been 
badly hit by Mother Nature during the last 2 years, wildfires, the 
Northridge earthquake, January's flood, and now this flooding. But 
California has not been beaten. That is because of the great fortitude, 
spirit, and can-do attitude of its people. I saw this spirit when I 
visited the town of Roseville in January, as neighbor helped neighbor 
cope with the tragedy of destroyed homes, possessions, and livelihoods.
    I know these are difficult times for many Californians. My 
administration will do all that we can to help permit life to return to 
normalcy as soon as possible. James Lee Witt, our Federal Emergency 
Management Agency Director, has gotten all too familiar with California 
during the last 2 years. I am directing Director Witt and his staff to 
begin the flow of programs and to continue to perform its tele-
registration and other outreach functions with the same enthusiasm and 
customer service orientation that we are now used to. I met some of 
those outreach people in January. They make us all proud.
    State and local officials are working around the clock to rescue 
victims and fight the floods. And the American Red Cross is providing 
food, comfort, and shelter to those in need. Most importantly, the 
thousands of volunteers in communities throughout California are all 
working together in this difficult time. This community spirit is truly 
the best America has to offer.
    Hillary and I send our thoughts and prayers to the families of those 
who have lost their lives. The thoughts and prayers of the American 
people are with them as well.