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The President. Let me just make a brief statement because it's been a very busy day regarding the hurricane and trying to help the victims thereof. I met today with the homebuilders, the volunteer organizations, a lot of the Federal officials. And at this meeting we're going to be talking with representatives of the insurance companies and small business.
We are exploring the medium and longer term needs of the hurricane aftermath. This has got to be a long-term commitment, as I'm sure everyone here knows. And it's going to take months, literally, to rebuild these communities. In many ways the hardest work is yet to come. And these will be the times that test this commitment, to guarantee to the victims of this terrible tragedy that we're with them for the long haul.
I want to make one special plea here today. I'd ask the full support of the news media on this one, and that is an appeal for all Americans to give generously to these volunteer organizations who served so valiantly in south Florida and in Louisiana. Today we've talked about the complexities of the problems ahead, from building codes and check cashing to getting the kids back in school. But the cooperative spirit has been fantastic, as I'm sure Pat Saiki knows, who is head of our Small Business Administration. I just would strongly urge the American people to participate in any way they can by supporting these volunteer organizations. I'll tell you more about that, but they are doing a superb job. And they need the support of everybody.
And so thank you all very much for being here. I want to shift here and get from you the size of the insurance problem that's facing the people there, how we can help, the Federal Government can help. I'll be glad to tell you about our Federal efforts in which I have great confidence. The military has moved in. They're doing very well. But the volunteers, I'll tell you, it's really the best in the American spirit, what's happening there.
Q. Mr. President, do you plan to go back to Florida and -- --
The President. Oh, I will, yes. Let me simply say that I'll -- leaving at 5:45 in the morning to go back down there, going to Florida. At 5:45 Barbara and I will leave. Secretary Cheney will be joining me. We will have a chance to talk to the top civilian and military and some of the volunteer leaders. And then we'll fly over to Louisiana, touch base there, and be back here tomorrow evening.
Note: The President spoke at 4:25 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.