There are a few options available to you when the phone lines are down:
HAM / Amatuer radios
Of the 3, my preference would be the amatuer radio. No license? I wouldn't worry about it when the SHTF... The FCC won't particularly care at that point in time.
Secondary would be FRS/GMRS (FamilyRadio Service) with a decent range.
Third would be the ever opular, but aged device carried by the knights of the highway, the CB Radio.