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Benefit-Cost Analysis Resource Hub

These resources are provided by VEM Hazard Mitigation staff and official FEMA-created material. This is a living resource hub, please contact the Hazard Mitigation team if you have resources that would be helpful to share here when completing a Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA).

While BCAs may first seem intimidating, keep in mind that the goal of the BCA is to document that your proposed mitigation project is truly cost effective and therefore a wise use of taxpayer funds. A project is cost effective if the project's benefit-cost ratio (BCR) is greater than or equal to 1.0. The key to a BCA is to sufficiently document the data you use in your BCA. The resources below are aimed to assist you in finding useful data for the BCA, and in successfully documenting that data. 

For more information about FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance contact: Vermont Hazard Mitigation Program at VEM.

Important - Benefit Cost Analysis Waivers

For certain acquisition or elevation projects, a Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) may not be needed. For buildings in the FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), projects costing less than $360,000 for acquisitions and $228,000 for elevations per structure are qualified for Pre-Calculated Benefits and do not require a full BCA. More information on BCAs and Pre-Calculated Benefits can be found here

Additionally, FEMA has established a pre-calculated benefit for certain hospital generator projects. For more information, including how to determine if a hospital is in an urban or rural area, see the hospital generator pre-calculated benefits memorandum.

Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) Software

Download the current BCA software: BCA 6.0 (free)

General Information

  • FEMA's BCA Website
  • Introduction to the FEMA BCA (VEM Powerpoint, 2014) - A brief what, who, and how of BCAs; what a BCA is, who (types of HMGP projects) needs it, and how to create it.
  • FEMA BCA General Information
    • BCA Reference Guide (FEMA, 2009)
    • BCA Reference Guide Supplement (FEMA, 2011) - This document provides extremely useful how-to information for determining Recurrence Intervals, documenting historical damage, documenting “loss of service” for damaged buildings and infrastructure (including critical facilities), etc.
  • Benefit Cost Analysis Re-engineering (FEMA, May 2009) - The Benefit Cost Analysis Re-engineering report is a great resource for review and understanding of the methodology behind the FEMA Damage Frequency Assessment (DFA). There is also a sample BCA in this report, starting on page 39.

Project-Specific Information

Documenting and Determining Recurrence Intervals


Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Appeals Database - tracks the status of appeals under this grant program.

The Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) Helpline

FEMA provides BCA Technical Assistance through The BCA Helpline