#IAMFEMA: Paul Stutzman, FEMA Region 8

A photo of a man in a red shirt smiling and wearing glasses, with the background of the photo the United States flag on the left and the Department of Homeland Security flag on the right.
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Meet Paul!

Paul is a Regional Geographic Information System (GIS) Specialist at FEMA Region 8.

Paul started with FEMA as a local hire in early 2005 to support disaster recovery after four strong hurricanes hit Florida in just a matter of weeks.

When the FEMA office in Orlando needed someone with an expertise in computer graphics, Paul answered the call and has been with the agency ever since.

Paul’s work involves developing digital products like maps while also managing technical data to help answer questions and fill information gaps during disasters and emergencies.

He also curates data and develops online dashboards to help convey technical geospatial data in an intuitive and interactive way. 

During a disaster response, Paul manages and supports GIS teams and works with FEMA’s partners to provide excellent technical customer service on projects, priorities, and training opportunities to enhance capabilities.

In 2018, Paul was deployed to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) after Super Typhoon Yutu devastated the area. The deployment brought many unique challenges, but Paul was up for the task.

He harnessed his creativity and diverse set of technical skills to develop novel solutions to help the community on CMNI’s largest island, Saipan.

The island did not have clear addresses, so it was difficult to logistically track where food, water and other resources were being delivered to survivors.

Paul worked with response teams from the Department of Defense to create a mobile phone app to aid in tracing resource distribution and disaster recovery on the island.

The app took GPS coordinates and allowed teams to take photos of damaged areas to better gauge their response and recovery efforts. He also held classes to teach partners how to use the mobile app.

“When in Saipan, I really enjoyed finding opportunities to create solutions for mission needs.  Since that deployment was austere, it required some really new approaches. I loved it.”

Having lived in Florida and seen first-hand how a community is affected by natural disasters, Paul brings that perspective to his work at FEMA every day.

“As a multi-disaster survivor myself, I really appreciate FEMA’s mission and the agency believing in me too.  I enjoy a sense of serving to a solid cause and coming together and figuring things out. I have never seen so much teamwork and opportunities to learn and to make a difference than with FEMA.”

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