Because we have what seems like more than our share of natural disasters around here, our local residents spend a lot of time tracking things online.
When we hear an airplane overhead, we can look at
to see what might be. That black dot is our house.
The colors indicate relative altitude. The Denver airport is in the lower right corner.
The past couple of years we were able to see helicopter mulching operations as part of recovering from wildfires near us.
Flightaware also tracks airplane flights with slightly different information than the above:
Of course we track the weather, looking for rain, snow, and high winds. Here is a flight-tracking weather site I found today.
And if we hear sirens in the area we look at Pulse Point, which shows local fire department calls.
They have live radio transmissions during the calls that sometimes are very valuable, such as when there was a small wildfire in the area, and the firemen were referring to it as 'above Waltonia subdivision' which we all took to mean in the forest uphill of all the houses, but I eventually heard him give the GPS coordinates, and it was across the river and highway from the houses - so not as big a worry.
We share all this sort of thing on a local Facebook group because everyone always wants to know what the sirens are for. Our canyon is 16 miles long, with a twisty highway and none of the sight distances are more than a couple of hundred feet. The house around the corner could be burning down, and without the things we can track on the internet, we wouldn't be aware of it.
And the County Sheriff's Incident Blotter:
The sheriffs info usually doesn't get shared on the community group, but triggers a lot of private messages.