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Benefit-Cost Analysis

How to Comply

Get the BCA Toolkit

Resources & Support

Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) is a method that determines the future risk reduction benefits of a hazard mitigation project and compares those benefits to its costs.

The result is a Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR). A project is considered cost-effective when the BCR is 1.0 or greater.

Applicants and subapplicants must use FEMA-approved methodologies and tools — such as the BCA Toolkit — to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of their projects.

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1. Updated guidance for completing a cost-effectiveness narrative for projects less than $1 million for all HMA programs.
2. New policy for the discount rate and FEMA’s BCA streamlining efforts, including updates to FEMA BCA Assistance.
3. Policy aid for guidance navigating the discount rate change.
4. Added distributional weights to HMA-funded projects.

How to Comply with FEMA’s Cost-Effectiveness Requirement

There are two paths for complying with FEMA’s cost-effectiveness requirement:

1. Complete a Full BCA

Users perform a Full BCA by entering documented values into the BCA Toolkit, which calculates a benefit-cost ratio.

The results are submitted as an attachment to a mitigation project subapplication.

View Details on How to Complete a Full BCA

2. Complete a Streamlined BCA

FEMA’s cost-effectiveness requirement is never waived; however, some cases can use a Streamlined BCA if the project:

  • Is eligible for pre-calculated benefits
  • Qualifies as "substantially damaged"

View Policies & Guidance for Completing a Streamlined BCA

Get the BCA Toolkit

FEMA developed the BCA Toolkit to perform an analysis of cost-effectiveness to include in an application submitted to its pre-disaster and post-disaster mitigation grant programs.

The BCA Toolkit uses Office of Management and Budget cost-effectiveness guidelines and FEMA-approved methodologies and tools to complete a benefit-cost analysis.

BCA Toolkit Privacy Statement

FEMA does not see, collect, or store any data you enter into the BCA Toolkit unless the file is submitted as part of a Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) or Public Assistance (PA) project application. All information you enter into the BCA Toolkit is stored in the Microsoft Excel file on your machine or server and not on FEMA’s website or server.

The BCA Toolkit uses a Leaflet Application Programming Interface (API) for property address lookup and standardization. The Leaflet API may use your IP address for geolocation purposes but does not collect any personal information. FEMA does not endorse any non-federal government entities or products.

Find Resources and Support

  • TRAINING: Introduction to Benefit-Cost Analysis (E/L0276)
    The classroom course materials consist of the student manual, instructor guide and visuals.
    Download pre-calculated benefits, BCA guidance, ecosystem services and other support documents.
    Review BCA-related updates, see the schedule for upcoming releases, and access BCA Toolkit release notes.
    • BCA Toolkit Help
      • Email questions to
      • Or call toll free at 1-855-540-6744
      9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET | Monday through Friday
      Note that the BCA Helpline cannot review or perform benefit-cost analyses.
    • Get Support Performing or Reviewing a BCA
      For assistance with performing or reviewing a BCA, or for obtaining answers to eligibility or policy questions, please contact your State Hazard Mitigation Officer.