The guys that kept their jobs during the DotCon collapse were those that had "community organizers" that helped them negotiate big cuts in salary and finding shared housing in the area to cut living expenses.
In practice what this means: Try to hook into the H-1b ethnic network somehow. Perhaps the best way to survive a collapse in employment is to get a tan, change your legal name to the moral equivalent of Sanjay Gupta and contact one of the many immigration law firms in the valley that aid and abet H-1b immigration fraud with a sob story about how you're going to be sent back "home" (don't tell them "home" is Champaign Urbana Illinois) if you can't find a job -- and that you'll be willing to take a big pay cut and live in a beehive to stay in "America". Do it with the appropriate accent. They'll hook you up with a "community organizer".