Ellen Kern — My sister and resident of the 1,100 square-foot house off Wendover Avenue in Greensboro. After the ice storm took out power for some 150,000 residents of Guilford County, necessitating the declaration of a state of emergency, she was the only one in the family with electricity.

Brian Clarey — That’s me. When I realized my power was out on Friday morning and understood the amount of things I had to do, I knew I had to go somewhere I could get some work done.

Jill Clarey — No way was my wife going to stay home with the kids in a house without electricity.

Our 13-year-old son — Honestly, he might have slept through the whole thing. But if he woke up with a dead phone I do believe he’d absolutely freak out.

Our 11-year-old son — His entire life revolves around television and Minecraft. Would rather sleep in a dog bed than go without.

Our 9-year-old daughter — Cannot legally stay in a house without electricity by herself.

Robert Clarey — My father, who grew up in Albany, NY, drove clear across town on the ice rather than face the possibility of half a day without television.

Barbara Clarey — My mother loves stuff like this.

Summer — The senior dog of the house, who sometimes sleeps in the busy hallway.

Rusty Noodle — The beta dog, a golden retriever desperately trying to maintain his position in the pecking order.

Tiger — A young upstart pit bull. He steals food.

Nomi — A black moor goldfish that feeds at the bottom of the tank. Named for the lead character in the 1995 film Showgirls.

Cedric — A smaller black moor that feeds near the water’s surface.

Greta — A spotted, orange fancy goldfish with a completely different set of behaviors. “I’ve created what appears to be a complementary environment,” my sister says. “I Googled ‘goldfish happiness.’”

Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.

We believe that reporting can save the world.

The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.

All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.

⚡ Join The Society ⚡