Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Increase Opportunities for All Hazards

The ability of applicants/subapplicants to accurately demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of proposed projects is hampered by weaknesses within the underlying assumptions and implementation of the benefit-cost analysis methods. The current FEMA resources intended to aid applicants/subapplicants are generalized in a manner that allows for use with many project types. However, effective use of the resources is limited when pursuing innovative projects due to a clear bias--from the user's perspective--towards flood mitigation projects. Additionally, the resources lack sufficient guidance on acceptable data sources and documentation, including what data entries must be supported by documentation. FEMA must improve usability and modify underlying policy for the cost-effectiveness determination methods in order to successfully support non-traditional activities, which include large infrastructure. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) 5% Initiative category should be reclassified into the non-disaster grant programs to provide greater flexibility and innovation in pursuing mitigation results. Advancing HMGP's achievable possibilities further, the 5% Initiative requirements can be expanded to 100% of HMGP funds. This modification allows HMGP-eligible applicants/subapplicants the ability to implement mitigation during recovery more effectively through non-traditional mitigation activities. Truly transformational change requires the application of the 5% Initiative requirements to all HMA program funding.

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Idea No. 2326