I believe in lieu of recent events in Japan, it is probably a very wise thing to look to the ancient paths a bit. We have been on a path of self sufficiency and preparedness for quite a while but have probably really accelerated that path in the last few weeks.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.~~ Matthew 24:7-8
We believe that we are in these beginning of birthing pains. So if you are to believe what the Word says it might be a good idea to be a little more prepared for those things that are to come. I would say that your first step needs to be knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal saviour. Here is a good place to start: http://www.allaboutgod.com/the-roman-road.htm
Next, here's something that we have been doing and I highly recommend it as a first step. We are accumulating a homesteading library. Right now the internet is an amazng wealth of info. in the homesteading dept. but if there is no internet we need a back up. Here are some books that we have and I highly recommend for the prepared minded or homestead minded.
This is a great reference book for everything homesteading or living in the country. This book was one of the first in our homesteading library.
These are the Storey's guides. They have a book for everything from raising sheep to raising pigs. They are very informative about each specific animal.