IS-277.A: Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA): Entry- Level Answers


The BCA Tool’s Seismic Non-Structural Module is capable of assessing the mitigation benefits for:

  • Suspended or dropped ceilings, fire sprinkler systems, racks and shelves, and columns and beams
  • Suspended or dropped ceilings, load-bearing walls, fire sprinkler systems, and racks and shelves
  • Suspended or dropped ceilings, fire sprinkler systems, racks and shelves, and foundations and footings
  • Suspended or dropped ceilings, elevators, fire sprinkler systems, and racks and shelves

Which of the following is not a valid and reliable source for project cost estimate data entered in the BCA Tool?

  • Property owners
  • Licensed building contractors or engineers
  • Historic costs of similar, completed mitigation projects
  • ational cost estimating guides such as RS Means or Marshall & Swift

When adding a structure in the BCA Tool, the Structure Name and State data fields are required.

  • True
  • False

After adding a project in the BCA Tool, other users automatically have access to the project and all the information associated with it.

  • True
  • False

In the BCA Tool’s Wildfire Module, the Value of Infrastructure data field is the economic value of assets that could be lost in wildfire such as bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure, or utilities. A reliable source for this information would be:

  • Local fire and police stations
  • LANDFIRE Program
  • Municipal offices with jurisdiction over the public infrastructure
  • Department of the Interior

Regardless of the flood mitigation project type, flood elevation values for the 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year floods are needed to complete a BCA using the BCA Tool’s Flood Module.

  • True
  • False

Use of the BCA Tool’s DFA Module is required for all of the following situations, except:

  • When the purpose of the mitigation project is to purchase and install generators for critical facilities
  • When analyzing projects that protect against ice storms, volcanic hazards, or tsunamis
  • When flood elevation, streambed elevation, and discharge data are available from a Flood Insurance Study or other source
  • When the purpose of the project is to mitigate damage to infrastrucutre such as roads, bridges, and utilities

In the BCA Tool, only one structure can be associated with a project.

  • True
  • False

In the BCA Tool’s DFA Module, aside from loss of function, additional documented damages can be added to the Damages Before Mitigation table to better capture a project’s damage-reducing potential.

  • True
  • False

In the BCA Tool’s Tornado Safe Room Module, the building performance of each Predominant Structure Type that safe room occupants would evacuate from determines:

  • The percent of total occupants who will be evacuating
  • The Safe Room Radius
  • The average response time during different time periods of the day
  • The likelihood of casualties being prevented

When using the BCA Tool’s DFA Module, what is the minimum number of hazard events with known recurrence intervals required to complete a BCA?

  • Five
  • One
  • Two
  • Three

Select the information needed to complete an analysis using the BCA Tool’s Flood Module:

  • Year the structure(s) was built
  • Damage history of the structure(s) being mitigated
  • First Floor Elevation of the structure(s) being mitigated
  • Analysis Duration

Which functionality can you access from the BCA Tool’s Basic Navigation Toolbar?

  • Start new mitigation.
  • Import or export projects or structures.
  • View the status report of the BCA.
  • Access the Help content.

To access the Help content inside the BCA Tool:

  • Select Help at the bottom of the My Projects window.
  • Select the Help icon on the Basic Navigation Toolbar.
  • Access the FEMA channel on YouTube.
  • Access the Training Materials section on FEMA’s BCA website.

The two types of tornado safe room projects are:

  • Small and Large
  • Public and Private
  • Residential and Non-Residential
  • Community and Residential

The purpose of a hurricane wind mitigation project is to reduce damage to the structure by increasing its building performance.

  • True
  • False

Which of the following statements about the Justification/Documentation section in the BCA Tool is true?

  • The BCA Tool checks if the justification text or attached documentation is accurate, complete, consistent, and reliable.
  • Justification text and attached documentation in this section allow reviewers to evaluate the validity of the entered data.
  • The paperclip icon displayed next to a data field indicates that back-up documentation needs to be attached.
  • If you miss adding justification text or attaching documentation to a certain data field, the BCA Tool will not allow you to go back to the screen where that data field is located.

When entering details about a project in the BCA Tool, users may override the FEMA standard value for the Discount Rate as long as it is supported by backup documentation.

  • True
  • False

The BCA Tool Home Screen has each of the following main sections except:

  • My Projects Window
  • Basic Navigation Toolbar
  • Quick Start Area
  • Status Report

Because the BCA Tool’s Hurricane Wind Module calculates benefits based on improving a structure’s building performance against the hurricane wind hazard, correctly entering the building properties before mitigation and after mitigation is important.

  • True
  • False

Which statement below best describes the hurricane windspeed values in the BCA Tool’s Hurricane Wind Module?

  • The Zip Code or Latitude and Longitude for the structure location automatically pulls in windspeed data from the imported windspeed data file.
  • The default values for windspeed cannot be overridden.
  • A BCR can be calculated without the windspeed data for the structure location since benefits are calculated based on the building replacement value.
  • The windspeed data are the same for all locations.

During a seismic event, the softer the soil, the less the seismic waves are amplified.

  • True
  • False

The depth of flooding is the difference between the flood elevation and the First Floor Elevation.

  • True
  • False

The Quick Start Area of the BCA Tool shows the following sequence of steps for completing a BCA:

  • Start new mitigation; Create new project; Create new structure; Add structures to project; and Export BCA.
  • Add structures to project; Create new project; Create new structure; Export BCA; and Start new mitigation.
  • Create new project; Create new structure; Add structures to project; Start new mitigation; and Export BCA.
  • Create new project; Create new structure; Add structures to project; Export BCA; and Start new mitigation.

When overriding a FEMA standard value for a utility’s Value Per Unit of Service in the BCA Tool, documentation from the utility company should include the utility company’s letterhead.

  • True
  • False

For a building with an unfinished basement, the correct value to enter in the BCA Tool for the total size of building is the square footage of only the finished, habitable space.

  • True
  • False

Which of the following is not an eligible wildfire mitigation activity?

  • Defensible Space
  • Hazardous Fuels Reduction
  • Wildfire Suppression
  • Ignition-Resistant Construction

Use the Export BCA functionality to:

  • Print the BCA Report in Adobe PDF
  • Backup the BCA Tool database
  • Attach hazard data to a subapplication
  • Share the analysis with another BCA Tool user or BCA reviewer

In the BCA Tool’s Wildfire Module, what would the default project effectiveness be for a project that includes both defensible space and ignition resistant construction?

  • 100%
  • 10%
  • 20%
  • 30%

In the BCA Tool’s Tornado Safe Room Module, key data inputs include the safe room occupancy and the predominant structure types that the expected safe room occupants will be evacuating from to get to the safe room.

  • True
  • False

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