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Home oxygen: Learning about making an emergency medical plan

Home Oxygen

Learning about making an emergency medical plan

Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time. It’s important to have an emergency plan in place before anything happens.

If you’re on home oxygen, you also need an emergency medical plan. This plan makes sure you have what you need to continue using oxygen during an emergency.

Use these tips as you make your plan, and always follow the instructions from your doctor or other healthcare provider.

Home oxygen company

Your home oxygen company can’t help you get oxygen in an emergency, so work with them to plan ahead. They can give you instructions for doing the following:

  • What to do if the power goes out.
  • How to get back-up oxygen easily.
  • How to store oxygen tanks in a safe place that is easy to access.
  • How to transport oxygen safely.

Basic information

Your emergency medical plan should include basic information:

  • A list of all your home oxygen supplies and equipment.
  • Equipment settings for when you’re sitting and walking.
  • Your most current oxygen prescription.

Emergency contacts

Add the following contact information to your emergency medical plan and cellphone:

  • Family doctor.
  • Respirologist (lung specialist doctor).
  • Pharmacy.
  • Home care provider.
  • Home oxygen company.

Equipment and supplies

How to use

Know how to use all your home oxygen equipment and supplies. Practise if you need to.

Teach a support person in your home how to use your home oxygen equipment in case you need help.

What to bring

Teach a support person to gather and transport all your equipment safely if you can’t do it yourself.

Have all your supplies and equipment ready to take with in case you need to leave your home:

  • Your portable oxygen and charging cord, if needed.
  • Nasal cannula, tubing, and connectors.
  • Home oxygen concentrator (if you need it): Know how to take it out of your home safely.
  • Any other medical equipment you need.

Power needs

Think about how to keep your equipment working if the power goes out. You might need to:

  • Keep your portable oxygen plugged in when you’re not using it to keep the battery fully charged.
  • Know how long the battery will last.
  • Plan where you’ll get power safely before the battery runs out.
  • Consider getting a generator for emergencies.

To see this information online and learn more, visit


For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.

Current as of: January 25, 2023

Author: Medicine SCN Respiratory Section, Alberta Health Services

This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.