I got laid off twice by a small newspaper company in August and November 1991.
Our staff was dumb not to see the warning signs. Our company president and publisher had started asking us to wait a couple days before we cashed our bi-weekly paychecks (pre-direct deposit era). Warning sign.
And various people heard rumblings about our move to a new office park perhaps not being the best financial move. We moved from a ratty, crummy, smelly but cheap building to a spiffy, clean, new, probably outrageously expensive to lease building. And somehow our mostly young (mid-upper 20s) staff just had no clue whatsoever, especially me.
So when the publisher called me (assistant editor), the associate editor, the sports editor, and the photographer into his office and told us he was letting us go and to clear out our desk that same night (a production night for our then twice-a-week newspaper), we were just bowled over. At least, I was.
Our editor had already gotten his walking papers and left, and they kept one veteran reporter, she was devastated.
I'd only had a week or so to process it when the same publisher called me and asked me back, saying he needed someone who knew how to layout the paper. Some months later they concluded I wasn't creative enough because, well, I only knew how to layout the paper the way the previous editor taught me to. I wasn't "creative" enough.
I kept my job for a while but they added reporter duties (always I've been a better writer than editor, a problem with me to this day). The creative guy they hired was, to me, a lazy "do nothing" who liked to twiddle his thumbs at his desk waiting for his creative "muse" to hit him, while I continued to do a lot of thankless grunt editorial work he declined to "dirty his hands" with.
Then the week before Thanksgiving 1991, the publisher called me one evening at home. I had covered a school board mid afternoon meeting and went home, planning to return to the office to write a story. He informed me he was laying off me, the new editor, the ad director (the ad director was not a wimp like me, and apparently threatened a lawsuit over his layoff) and some others. I naively offered to return to the office to write a final story, and he informed they were changing the door lock combinations as he spoke.
He asked me to wait a day before returning to clean out my desk, so I took a box in on a Thursday, said some melancholy goodbyes to a few editorial and production staffers. They still retained the veteran reporter, who bid me a tearful goodbye.
I did finally land a job, but it took until April of the following year. Got a few week's unemployment which I then blew by turning down a job at another newspaper because it appeared to be equally screwed up. The previous person in the job had gotten a job at a paper I previously worked at, and she urged me to not work there.
I digress. You don't care about all that crap I know.
My only lesson from that aging (23 years ago, can't believe it!) experience is yes, by golly, if you have the slightest inkling your company's in trouble, or wants to flip things upside down, then check in with any pals/contacts who might have job openings (LinkedIn can be helpful if used right), post your resume on sites you think will have matching job postings, etc. Don't wait, and don't think, "Oh, it'll work out." If you hear rumblings, something is probably going to happen and always better to be prepared.