Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Topic 4: Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Before FEMA can provide funding for a project, FEMA is required to compare the future benefits of a hazard mitigation project with its costs, called benefit-cost analysis (BCA). How can FEMA best conduct BCA for BRIC projects?

FEMA seeks your opinions on:

  • How can states, tribes, territories and local communities conduct a BCA more quickly and efficiently
  • How states, tribes, territories and local communities consider, conduct or demonstrate cost-effectiveness for non-FEMA funded infrastructure investments
  • What tools and methods you would recommend to improve the development of BCAs
  • What resources you would use develop BCAs for non-traditional or infrastructure mitigation projects
(@robert.coates)

Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

BCA Should Be a High Scoring Criteria

The benefit cost analysis is the only true criteria that assesses the risk in the project. The higher the BCR, the more the project will potentially reduce future risk. For PDM/FMA this really is not on the forefront, but states use it as an important evaluation tool.

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(@jaleesa.tate)

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... more »

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Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Accounting for nature-based solutions in BCA

The American Flood Coalition supports determining ways to quantify the value of nature-based solutions and account for the benefits of natural infrastructure in the BRIC program's benefit-cost analysis. FEMA should give equal consideration to both traditional "gray" infrastructure projects and projects that incorporate nature-based solutions or natural infrastructure for flood mitigation and flood risk reduction. Currently,... more »

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(@nwoiwode)

Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

The BRIC program should provide extra credits for projects that deliver societal and environmental benefits

Given the focus on building resilient communities – and not just less vulnerable communities - when considering grant applications for BRIC, extra credits should be awarded for projects that will result in risk reduction while also delivering additional societal and environmental benefits. Natural infrastructure or natural infrastructure combined with grey infrastructure is often the most cost-effective and best-performing... more »

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(@air)

Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Employ risk models to complement existing BCA

The insurance industry has long employed risk models to manage portfolios of insured risks, and these models can be effective tools to quantify the benefits of resilience investments. Risk models have been developed for flood, hurricane, severe storms, earthquake and wildfires, and apply a consistent, standardized framework in combining physical models of hazard and engineering models of vulnerability to determine annual... more »

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(@k.ph.d1)

Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Methodology review and alternative approachs

Water and wastewater utilities provide a unique case for benefit-cost analysis (BCA). The disruptions experienced in the water sector are not accurately valued by the default approach provided in FEMA's BCA. Aubuchon and Morley (2013) found that FEMA's default values may greatly underestimate the total economic loss of potable water service due to a total disruption in supply. The FEMA value is $97 (2011 dollars) per... more »

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Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Large Drainage Project Benefits

The current BCA analysis tool examines a limited number of variables for the benefits of large drainage improvement projects. Other more abstract, nonmonetary benefits should also be able to be accounted for. For example, the current model considers daily traffic counts and direct property damages, but does not consider the value of population in the area that is impacted by the overall insufficient drainage system.

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(@dsmandell)

Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Add new functionality to the BCA to cover new larger infrastructure projects

BRIC is intended to "incentivize new, innovative large infrastructure projects that build resilient communities and reduces risks from all hazards." However, the BCA tool seems to be geared toward traditional flood mitigation projects such as elevation and acquisition. We entered a large flood control infrastructure project into the BCA tool and found that it was not easily compatible with this system. The system should... more »

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Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Incorporate specific, local, statewide data as a scoring criterion when evaluating rural Alaska applicants

Including the magnitude of expected impacts on infrastructure in BRIC scoring would strategically advance mitigation efforts in the Alaskan communities with the greatest risk. Due to the fact that national datasets are not relevant to most of Alaska, we recommend that data sets such as the 2009 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Alaska Baseline Erosion Assessment and the Statewide Threat Assessment (upon completion) be used... more »

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Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Baseline data collection should be an eligible activity under Advanced Assistance

Alaska lacks much of the baseline data (lidar, bathymetry, NOAA authoritative tidal datums, orthorectified aerial imagery, etc.) necessary for the development of risk assessments, mitigation strategies, and mitigation projects. Though baseline data are the foundation of mitigation activities, they are not currently eligible for funding under PDM. It is critical that the BRIC program supports the collection of baseline... more »

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Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

It is difficult to value cultural and subsistence resources in benefit-cost analyses

The benefit-cost analysis is a barrier to applying because it is too complicated and is difficult to value important subsistence and cultural resources. For example, the economic impact of a flood or catastrophic land collapse event eliminating 10 fish camps has can have a significant impact on the health and economic well-being of a community. However, the benefit-cost analysis calculator does not easily enable assets... more »

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Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Cover travel costs to FEMA training for rural communities

In addition to being infrequent, attending a FEMA training comes at a high cost to the community. For example, travel from a rural community to training could involve two flights to Anchorage, hotel, ground transportation, per diem, followed by two flights back to their rural community. The direct cost for a community member to travel to training in Anchorage could exceed $2,000. Additionally, attending the training can... more »

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Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Provide frequent training to the Alaskan communities known to be at high risk

Developing a successful hazard mitigation project application requires significant expertise in technical fields such as project development, hazard mitigation, engineering, budgets, benefit-cost analysis, construction, etc. The majority of people we work with in rural communities do not have this expertise. Trainings are often needed to gain the required specialized knowledge, but trainings are not offered on a regular... more »

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(@wremer)

Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Promote Wind Mitigation BCA

FEMA should periodically update and train its field staff to be aware of and promote lesser known FEMA mitigation programs that have proven to be effective, such as the pre-calculated benefits for wind mitigation (P-804). There are numerous additional standards that states, tribes, territories and local communities can use that have hazard mitigation and resilience baked in. As a general matter, most of these resilience... more »

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(@rick.dembroski)

Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA)

Easy Fix

Easy fix, have states who put in for SMC costs make a training plan for courses like G-318 Planning Course, L-276 BCA Course, Flood courses etc. We build that into our admin plan all the time for disasters and SMC. Just have FEMA make it a SMC requirement. That way our sub applicants get a chance to go to training and get the best information on developing as a mitigation officer or as an applicant

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