Benefit-cost analysis (BCA) is a standardized, systematic way to count the benefits of a mitigation project and to compare these benefits to the costs of mitigation.  A complete benefit-cost analysis counts all of the significant direct benefits of a mitigation project.  A benefit-cost analysis always involves looking at damages and losses twice: first, before mitigation (the “as-is” situation) and second, after mitigation.  The benefits of a mitigation project are simply the difference in expected damages and losses before and after the mitigation project are completed.

To be eligible for federal funding assistance through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grants programs, a mitigation project must be cost-effective (benefit-cost ratio of 1.0 or greater using the FEMA BCA software). FEMA’s BCA Tool [Version 5.1] to assist Sub-Applicants to determine the cost-effectiveness of their proposed mitigation project.  The FEMA BCA software (and related training materials) are available for download at:

When BCA classroom training is available by MEMA, it will be announced through the Training Registration System . Training is also available online: IS-276: Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) Fundamentals Training: For help with the Benefit-Cost Analysis; software download or installation, operation of the application, or technical questions; please reach out to the BCA Helpline: 1-855-540-6744 or email:

Cost Effectiveness Determinations for Acquisitions and Elevations  pdf format of Cost Effectiveness Determinations for Acquisitions and 
in Special Flood Hazard Areas

The NOAA’s National Water Center has released updated precipitation frequency estimates for Massachusetts. These NOAA precipitation frequency estimates (published in Atlas 14, Volume 10), which are used in many infrastructure design and planning activities in the USA, are available for download through the Precipitation Frequency Data Server - PFDS.

What is a Benefit?

Benefits of a proposed mitigation project can be sorted into four main categories:

Avoided Physical Damages





Site Contamination



Avoided Loss-of-Function Costs

Displacement costs for temporary quarters

Loss of rental income

Loss of business income

Lost wages

Disruption time for residents

Loss of public services

Economic impact of loss of utility services

Economic impact of road/bridge closures

Avoided Casualties






Avoided Emergency Management Costs

Emergency operations center costs

Evacuation or rescue costs

Security costs

Temporary protective measure costs

Debris removal and cleanup costs

Other management costs