New Jersey is an amazing place to live. We offer some of the safest towns, cleanest beaches, best schools and endless entertainment opportunities. There’s just so much to love, but no state is perfect. Certain risks come with living in our gorgeous Garden State, some more detrimental than others. While I love singing our praises, knowledge is power. I put together this list to bring light to issues not everyone may be aware of. Here are 12 risks of living in New Jersey, ranging from silly to serious.
1. Wild Turkeys
While this one may seem like a joke, "Turkeys Terrorize New Jersey Neighborhood" is an actual headline from 2009. In 2016, the issue arose again, with turkeys damaging property and even trapping a frightened mailwoman in her truck.
Besides the obvious issues involving increased risk of accidents due to stop and go traffic, the risk of getting stuck in traffic FOREVER is a real possibility.
3. The Jersey Devil
The 13th child of Deborah Leeds was said to be the spawn of Satan. This terrifying creature may pose a problem should you get lost in the Pine Barrens at night.
Our harsh winters and rainy days lead to dangerous potholes. Some seem large enough to swallow an entire car.
This may not be a serious concern, and attacks in our area are uncommon. Still, the film Jaws was based on a series of shark attacks along the Jersey Shore in 1916. These fatal attacks were significant for several reasons. You can learn about them
6. The Jersey Shore
I'm not talking about sharks here, or rip tides, or anything like that - I'm talking about beach houses. Our beaches are so beautiful, some of us would trade anything for a beach house. Do you know anyone in Cape May who needs a kidney? I'm asking for a friend...
7. Shopping Malls
The last of the less serious risks, shopping malls do pose several threats. Black Friday is especially dangerous - with the cost of living in our great state, we can get a little crazy during discount season.
8. Gambling Addiction
With Atlantic City so easily accessible and several casinos within driving distance, gambling addiction is a real issue. Our state is also home to 3 racetracks and recently legalized online gambling - you don't even need to leave home to lose massive amounts of money. In 2014, New Jersey expanded its addiction program with a new "text to help" option. Anyone concerned that they or someone they know may have a problem can text "800GAMBLER" to 53342, 24 hours a day for help.
New Jersey's very own superhero isn't called the Toxic Avenger for nothing. While the above photo is from a Coast Guard drill, there are over 14,000 known contaminated sites in New Jersey; around 10% of these sites have no cleanup plan in place. New Jersey has been a major chemical producer over the years, even providing much of the Agent Orange used in Vietnam. The remaining supply is currently encased in concrete at the bottom of the Passaic River. To learn more, click
Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on Hudson County and much of the Jersey Shore. Millions of dollars worth of damage and 34 fatalities serve as evidence of the seriousness of this risk. Time Magazine recently ranked Ocean County the most dangerous county in the United States in terms of natural disaster risk. For more information, click
According to recent reports, odds are high that the greatest wildfire disaster in the United States could happen right here in New Jersey. Our 1.1 million acre Pine Barrens pose a serious threat as fires can spread rapidly through the area, which is heavily populated. The Meadowlands are also a cause for concern due to current dry conditions. To learn more about this harrowing possibility, click
for a chilling video.
This risk often goes overlooked; it's something most people don't want to talk about. It hits too close to home. Over the past decade, more than 5000 New Jersey residents have died from opiate overdoes, with thousands more surviving thanks to the usage of emergency rescue drug, Narcan. It is estimated that nearly 200,000 New Jerseyans are addicted to this dangerous drug; Williamstown, New Jersey, in Gloucester County has a heroin death rate that reaches nearly 25 times the national average. These statistics may be startling, but we should all be aware. To learn more, click
Were you shocked by any of this information? Have you been affected by any of these issues? What other risks are associated with living in New Jersey?