In the case of civil unrest the traffic cams will be shut down by the government.
It happened last Sunday during the veterans protests at the WWII Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the White House.
I went to DC DOT cam network and almost all were working fine EXCEPT some strategic ones on Constitution Ave. They were either "temporarily unavailable" or just plain snowy.
However, there is an interesting police and fire scanner site for those departments that have not gone fully encripted yet.
Broadcastify - Live Police, Fire, EMS, Aircraft, and Rail Audio Feeds
DO NOT click on any buttons that say Download - those just try to sell you stuff. On the tool bar near the top move your cursor over LISTEN. That will present options where you can select a certain area, or you can just listen to the ones with the most activity. Chicago has a heck of a lot of activity. It is contageous and habit forming.
Just remember - you do not need to click on any DOWNLOAD to use the service for free.