Proper Benefit Cost Analysis Key in Mitigation Grant Application


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Ronald A. Cuccaro, SPPA


Sheila E. Salvatore

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Getting Started

To complete a comprehensive BCA for a flood mitigation project, it is important to obtain a current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS). These documents will define the special hazard area of the project, flood elevation data and profiles, streambed elevations, and flood discharges.


Base flood or first-floor flood elevation Professional engineer or surveyor

Building Replacement Value (BRV) Tax records, building inspector, contractor or an estimate derived from a national cost estimating guide Building area (square footage)

Tax records, property appraiser, real estate listing

Flood hazard data Flood Insurance Study (FIS) or hydrology study

Building contents data Receipts, itemized insurance policy and/or FEMA default of 50 percent of BRV

Displacement costs Advertisements, rental agreements and/or FEMA default cost per square foot (per month)

Flood frequency data Flood Insurance Study, hydrology study, historical records, flood depths, damage costs

Before mitigation data Flood Insurance Study or hydrology study, insurance claims, receipts, newspaper articles

After mitigation data Statement from engineer or professional

Document loss of function Traffic counts from engineer or state department of transportation

Project cost Cost estimate breakdown and maintenance costs

R E F E R E N C E S: FEMA BCA Reference Guide 508 Final – June 2009 FEMA Supplement to the BCA Reference Guide 508 – June 2011 Natural Hazards Review – ASCE November 2007 HMA Unified Guidance – 2013 FEMA BCA Toolkit 5.1 Luanne Principe “Regardless of which grant program a sub- applicant is applying to, the application must present the project’s clear benefit(s) if it is to be successful. ”